Congress established Hot Springs Reservation on April 20, 1832 to protect hot springs flowing from the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain. This makes it the oldest park currently in the National Park System--40 years older than Yellowstone National Park. People have used the hot spring water in therapeutic baths for more than two hundred years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. The reservation eventually developed into a well-known resort nicknamed "The American Spa" because it attracted not only the wealthy but also indigent health seekers from around the world. Today the park protects eight historic bathhouses with the former luxurious Fordyce Bathhouse housing the park visitor center. The entire "Bathhouse Row" area is a National Historic Landmark District that contains the grandest collection of bathhouses of its kind in North America. By protecting the 47 hot springs and their watershed, the National Park Service continues to provide visitors with historic leisure activities such as hiking, picnicking, and scenic drives. Hot Springs Reservation became Hot Springs National Park by a Congressional name change on March 4, 1921.
Plane - Hot Springs is serviced by a local airport, Hot Springs Memorial Field, or Little Rock National Airport (with shuttle service and rental cars.)
Car - Hot Springs National Park is in downtown Hot Springs; Bathhouse Row is on Central Avenue with the mountains of the park flanking the street. Visitors traveling north-south on I-30 take the Hot Springs US 70 West exit south of Benton, the Hot Springs US 270 West exit at Malvern, or the Hot Springs Ark. 7 North exit near Arkadelphia; visitors traveling south on Ark. 7 will come through downtown Hot Springs where the visitor center is located; visitors traveling south on US 71 from Fort Smith, or north on US 71 from Texarkana, take the US 270 East exit; visitors coming from Oklahoma on US 70 would take this route all the way into Hot Springs. When you get into the city you will see signs for the National Park. The Visitor Center is located downtown on Highway 7 North or Central Avenue.
Public Transportation - Amtrak's Texas Eagle route serves Little Rock and Malvern, Arkansas, with shuttle services to Hot Springs. Greyhound Bus Lines also services Hot Springs with a station located at 229 West Grand Avenue. For fare and scheduling information, call 1-800-231-2222.