Hot Springs National Park is unique in our country's National Park system in that it focuses on the preservation of some urban structures, yet it includes some beautiful natural areas as well. It is centered around Bath House Row, currently consisting of eight bathhouse buildings that were constructed between 1892 and 1923, the grandest collection of bathhouses of its kind in North America.
The hot spring water that tumbles from a number of springs lining the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain has for centuries been believed to possess medicinal properties, and was a subject of legend among several Native American tribes who referred to the area as the "Valley of the Vapors" at the time of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto's arrival in the area in 1541 as the first known European to see the springs.
Over time the National Park has acquired natural land adjacent to Bath House Row to expand into more natural areas, and to preserve the quality of the water emanating from the springs. To the east the park encompasses Hot Springs Mountain, and to the west it includes West Mountain. Both are criss-crossed by numerous hiking trails and winding tree-lined roadways.
The Ouachita Mountains straddle western Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. Hot Springs sits on the range's southern edge. Northwest of town and within the mountains, and completely surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest, Lake Ouachita is the largest lake entirely within Arkansas, with over 690 miles of shoreline. Lake Ouachita was formed when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the Bagnell Dam on the Ouachita River. Further downstream the river flows into Lake Hamilton in suburban Hot Springs, contributing to the city's tourism industry. Much of the lake is surrounded with resorts, restaurants, and motels. Parasailing, boating, fishing, and waterskiing are popular on Lake Hamilton.
We stay at the Hot Springs National Park KOA while exploring some of the sights and sounds of the Hot Springs area.
Filmed: July 4-11, 2020
- 0:00 Intro
- 0:55 Bath House Row
- 4:24 Hot Springs Mountain Tower
- 6:08 Lake Ouachita
- 7:09 Lake Hamilton
- 9:06 Gulpha Gorge Campground
- 9:49 Hot Springs National Park KOA
- 10:48 Wrap-up
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Hot Springs National Park https://www.nps.gov/hosp
- Hot Springs National Park KOA http://koa.com/campgrounds/hot-springs-national-park/
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