HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (News release) – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Hot Springs National Park continues to increase recreational access and visitor services. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and is using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning May 29, 2020, Hot Springs National Park will reopen access to:
- The Gulpha Gorge Campground (Restrooms will be closed on a rotating basis to allow for proper cleaning.)
- Public restrooms on Bathhouse Row
- In addition, the following spaces continue to be available:
- Trails, roads, and thermal and cold-water fountains
- Visitor services on the front porch of the Fordyce Bathhouse
- Restrooms at the top of Hot Springs Mountain
- Gulpha Gorge day use area
- Concession services operating in bathhouses and the Mountain Tower are open for limited services according to state and CDC guidelines. Contact the businesses for hours and services.
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:
- Fordyce Bathhouse and Museum
- Administration Building (Park Headquarters)
Hot Springs National Park superintendent Laura Miller said, “We continue to coordinate our phased approach to be in alignment with our state and federal agency partners and the Arkansas Department of Health. We are happy to welcome campers back to the park and ask that everyone do their part to follow state and federal guidance to protect themselves and others from the spread of disease.”
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Hot Springs National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, Arkansas Department of Health, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities. The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.