Hot Springs National Park is a neat combination of urban and natural landscapes. The park’s namesake, the hot springs, are only located in the downtown area called Bathhouse Row in the heart of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Built in early 1900’s, the Bath House Row was deemed a National Historic Landmark in 1987. You can still take a traditional bath in several of the bathhouses.
While most famous for the hot springs, the national park offers many other activities like hiking. There are over 26 miles of hiking trails near Gulpha Creek that offer an amazing view of the natural beauty of the land.
Hot Springs, Arkansas, gets its name from the naturally thermal spring waters found there. Flowing out of the ground at an average temperature of 143 degrees, the hot springs produce almost one million gallons of water each day.
It is not hard to see why Native Americans came to this area often.They called it the "Valley of Vapors". Indians designated it neutral territory where all tribes could come and enjoy a primitive spa experience without conflict. The springs were such a coveted wonder that Pres. Andrew Jackson made it the first federal reservation in 1832.
It is hard to believe that such a peaceful place would be frequented by gangsters like Al Capone, Frank Costello, Bugs Moran, and Lucky Luciano. Organized crime exploded because of the seclusion of the area.Illegal gambling in the 1800s led to a famous batttle between the Flynn and Doran families called the Hot Springs Gunfight.