US-Parks.com
US National Parks Travel Guide

Hot Springs and Buffalo National River Road Trip

This road trip includes parks: Hot Springs National Park, Ozark National Forest, Buffalo National River, Ouachita National Forest and more!

Congress established Hot Springs Reservation on April 20, 1832 to protect hot springs flowing from the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain. This makes it the oldest area 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.

The Buffalo River is one of the few remaining unpolluted, free-flowing rivers in the lower 48 states offering both swift-running and placid stretches. The Buffalo National River encompasses 135 miles of the 150-mile long river. It begins as a trickle in the Boston Mountains 15 miles above the park boundary.

Visit these parks and travel around Arkansas for a shorter road trip with more limited time. Visit Little Rock, Arkansas, Ozark National Forest, Hot Springs National Park and more! Use this self-guided road trip to help you plan a trip around Arkansas.