Hot Springs National Park sits intertwined with the town of the same name. It’s a historic landmark that doesn’t really live up to the National Park reputation. It should really be a National Historic Park, like Harpers’ Ferry, so wanderers won’t be disappointed. We visited for one very mild day in February, saw most of the park, camped at Gulpha Gorge, and felt like we saw what there was to see, even without a visit to the spa.
Hot Springs National Park is one weird place. The horse-shoe shaped park is only 8.5 square miles, which makes it the smallest park in the US, but more unusually, the park is wrapped right around the town. The town is even officially named Hot Springs National Park.
The park was protected by Congress in 1832, leading some to say it’s the oldest national park, though it didn’t get the official designation until 1921. (Most would say Yosemite is the oldest National Park. It was officially formed in 1890.) Continue reading Hot Springs National Park – Worth A Quick Visit