Arkansas Hot Springs

Discover the best hot springs in Arkansas!

Let’s be honest, when it comes to traveling in the United States, Arkansas is not usually on the top of people’s lists. However, we are here to give you a few warm and relaxing reasons why this needs to change: Arkansas hot springs!

There is a lot of geothermal activity going on in this area that has led to the formation of multiple hot springs that all cluster in one particular area that has become a sought-after location. The Arkansas hot springs are all protected within the Hot Springs National Park in the town of; you guessed it, Hot Springs!

Yes, the town is named after the hot springs themselves, and a lot of their tourism can be attributed to them. With its forested landscape, this beautiful town has become known as a spa town that people seek to take advantage of the healing waters of the natural hot springs.

In this guide, we are going to outline all the soaking options in Arkansas as well as look at how you can view the primitive hot springs in Hot Springs National Park.

4 Hot Springs in Arkansas

Although there is a whole national park based around the hot springs, the only locations where you can go and soak yourself are developed. They are also very limited in number, so we are going to be going through them all.

You can view the primitive hot springs you find on hikes and visits to the national park, but they are all far too hot to swim in safely, as temperatures can get up to a scorching 143 F.

Here we are going to look more closely at the four locations where it is safe to soak.

Quapaw Baths and Spa

If you want the full hot spring and spa experience for ultimate relaxation, then Quapaw Baths and Spa is the place for you.

These baths have been a staple part of Hot Springs since they were built in 1922. They get their name from the Native American tribe that used to call this valley home on the Hot Springs Reservation.

The baths are made up of a series of pools that vary in size and temperature. The pools’ temperatures range from 98 F to 104 F.  The pools are decorated with tiled mosaics and lit by skylights that bathe the visitors in gentle sunlight.

There are options for public pools, private baths for one or two, and spa treatments. There are even options for hydrotherapy and aromatherapy baths.

Once you have finished your time in the baths, you can finish off your visit with steam in the Steam Cave. The whole cave is heated purely using hot spring water directly from the source of 143 F.

Buckstaff Bathhouse

Built in the 1900s, Buckstaff Bathhouse is a classic Roman-style bathhouse inside the Hot Springs National Park.

The bathhouse features small soaking tubs that you can soak in one person at a time. There is an option for a quick 20-minute whirlpool mineral water experience or a full bath experience that includes a soak, massage, and time in the steam room.

Hotel Hale

If you are looking for a luxury hotel with a hot spring experience built-in, then we highly recommend Hotel Hale.

This historic hotel is built on bathhouse row where the original Hale bathhouse was located in 1892. The building was subsequently renovated and turned into a hotel, which maintains many of the original features, including the entranceway and the marble in the lobby.

This boutique hotel has just nine rooms, but each one contains a tub that fills with hot mineral water straight from the faucet. This allows you to soak for as long as you want in the healing waters in the comfort of your own hotel room.

Regarding other amenities, Hotel Hale has a restaurant on the property that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa

Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa is a historical feature of the town of Hot Springs as well as being a mineral hot springs location. The 500-room hotel was built in 1875, and its sheer size and architectural style is a focal point of the town.

You can access the hot springs through the thermal water spa, where you can have an exclusive soak and take full advantage of the spa services available.

Full List of Arkansas Hot Springs

There are several hot springs in Arkansas, with many of them being located within the Hot Spring National Park. However, many inside the park are not named as they are unsuitable for soaking in.

Here is a comprehensive list of the hot springs in Arkansas that are publicly accessible.

Hot SpringLocation in ArkansasDeveloped or Primitive
Quapaw Baths and SpaHot SpringsDeveloped
Buckstaff BathhouseHot SpringsDeveloped
Hotel HaleHot SpringsDeveloped
Arlington Resort Hotel and SpaHot SpringsDeveloped
Hot Springs National ParkHot SpringsPrimitive (no safe for swimming)

Type of Hot Springs in Arkansas

As we can see from our breakdown, there are two specific types of hot springs in the city of Hot Springs; primitive and unsafe for soaking and developed and safe for soaking.

Let’s take a look at these categories in a little more detail.


Bathhouses are buildings where the natural hot spring water is pumped into individual or larger soaking tubs for people to enjoy at a safe temperature. The temperature is controlled using a series of cooling towers, and the pools are regularly cleaned, although the water may or may not be treated.

Originally there were eight operational bathhouses on bathhouse row in downtown Hot Springs. However, all but two of them, Quapaw Baths and Buckstaff Bathhouse, are gone or renovated.

The baths are open all year round, which is not always possible with some outdoor and primitive hot springs. These facilities also mean that the thermal baths are accessible to almost everyone.

Most of these bathhouse locations also provide other spa treatments so you can get a full-body relaxation experience.

Hot Springs National Park

Most of Arkansas’ hot springs can be found inside the Hot Springs National Park, which is situated in a valley in the Ouachita Mountains.

Established in 1832 and named national on record in 1921, Hot Springs National Park is the oldest national park in the United States. However, the park and the thermal springs inside it were used by Native Americans for generations before colonizers found them in 1521.

The national park houses 47 natural hot springs, but, unfortunately, these pools are not suitable for soaking because they are too hot. To make the hot springs accessible to the public at a safe temperature, bathhouse row was built, but only two of them remain in operation.

The primitive hot springs are located throughout the Hot Springs mountain and can be reached through various hikes throughout the national park.

Other activities within the Hot Springs National Park include 20 miles of hiking trails and bird watching.


The hot mineral water is not only used for soaking in but also for drinking!

There are mineral-rich springs present across the city in the form of hot fountains that are purely for viewing or drinking fountains. The water can be drunk without filtration and will come out warm even on the coldest winter’s day.

We hope this has inspired you to go off the beaten path and visit Hot Springs, Arkansas, to enjoy this unexpected, relaxing oasis in this underappreciated state.