US-Parks.com: America's National Parks and Road Trip Planning Find Your Park Road Trip Activities Nature

Hot Springs National Park Nature and Science

The hot springs are the primary natural resource of the park, but they have not been preserved in their unaltered state as natural surface phenomena. They have instead been managed to conserve the production of uncontaminated hot water for public use. The mountains within the park are also managed within this conservation philosophy in order to preserve the hydrological system that feeds the springs.

The park and its surrounding mountains exhibit a south-central United States pine-oak-hickory forest ecosystem. The park's vegetation, thermal waters, cold water springs, bathhouses and associated cultural features, foot trails, prehistoric and historic novaculite quarries, and general physiography combine to form an almost 5400 acre area of resource preservation and interpretation that is under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the federal government. Another 672.69 acres are within the park boundary but are not federally owned. The city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, with an approximate population of 33,000, lies immediately outside the park and exerts a significant influence on it.

Featured Outdoor Gear

$159.99
The Cascade Personal Flotation Device is an easy choice for getting down the river, thanks to its quick slip-on design...
Price subject to change | Available through Backcountry.com

National Park Spotlight
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Featured Wildlife
Maine Puffins
Maine Puffins


Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.