Many tourists to Hot Springs National Park never leave the Historic bath House Row. Why? The bath houses are the parks revenue source and the longer you stay there the more money they make. Unfortunately this means many visitors never see the beautiful trails that weave across the six mountains found in the park. See the five trail maps below.
The main mountain visible from the city below is Hot Springs Mountain with its iconic tower for spectacular views. A quick hike up along the Peak Trail and you can reach the tower in approximately 20 minutes depending on fitness level. After you have enjoyed the Hot Springs Tower view hike down to the Pagoda looking out over the valley. Then take the 1.7 mile Hot Springs Mountain Trail Loop below and then reconnect with the Peak Trail to head down the Mountain.
From the National Park campground hike up the Gulpha Gorge Trail and connect with the Goat Rock Trail on North Mountain. Once you reach the North Mountain Overlook you can head down the North Mountain Road to reconnect with the Gulpha Gorge Trail or hike further on the Upper Dogwood Trail. From the campground you can also take the Sunset Trail over to Ricks Pond and continue on the first section of the Sunset Trail Loop.
West Mountain can be accessed from Central Ave on the driveway next to the Mountain Valley Water Company. The Canyon Trail takes you to the junction of the Oak Trail which connects you to the West Mountain Trail and the West Mountain Top Loop. From there you can take in the views, continue around the mountain or head out along the Sunset Trail.
As you can see in my many past blog entries the trails have abundant wildlife and ever changing foliage including spectacular wildflowers. I am always happy to direct my readers to photography, wildlife viewing and wildflower locations (although you must remember the wildlife does migrate freely throughout the park). I read and reply to comments so please make contact anytime. You can see more videos at my you tube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/LeeHiller?feature=mhee