hot springs national park camping

Hot Springs National Park Camping | Your Complete Guide to Hot Springs Campgrounds

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Planning a Hot Springs National Park camping adventure? Regardless if you are setting up camp in an RV or tent, or glamping in a cabin—you have a lot of options for places to stay. For instance, you could park your RV or set up camp at the official Hot Springs National Park Campground (Gulpha Gorge Campground). Or, stay at one of the privately-operated campgrounds within the park to enjoy more amenities.

You don’t have to stay in Hot Springs National Park to visit the hot springs. There are plenty of options for campgrounds within driving distance to the park, including some free spots to set up camp. Rest assured, we’ve detailed them all in this Complete Guide to Hot Springs National Park Camping.

For centuries, people have traveled from near and far to experience the soothing and healing powers of the warm thermal waters found here. Hot Springs National Park offers three different locations where you can experience the surreal 143-degree (F) thermal waters. Bathhouse Row is one of the more historically popular spots to check out—after all, it consists of eight bathhouses.

Popular park activities include:

hot springs national park camping

Fordyce Bathhouse Credit to lakehamilton.com

  • Tour the historic Fordyce Bathhouse
  • Take a dip in the hot springs
  • Soak up more information through guided tours
  • Hike Mountain Tower
  • Visit the Bathhouse Row National Historic Landmark District, including the Grand Promenade
  • Take a traditional bath at Buckstaff Bathhouse
  • Make reservations at the Quapaw Baths and Spa to enjoy a modern spa experience
  • Drive or hike through the park’s many-miles of scenic roads
  • Enjoy a picnic in nature

Hot Springs National Park Camping

There are a variety of Hot Springs campgrounds but Gulpha Gorge Campground is the official national park facility. Other campgrounds in the park are privately owned and operated.

Gulpha Gorge Campground

hot springs national park camping

Credit to nps.gov

Location: 305 Gorge Rd., Hot Springs National Park, Garland County, Arkansas

Open: Year-round

Camping fee: $30 per night

Website: www.nps.gov/hosp/planyourvisit/campground.htm

Gulpha Gorge Campground maintains a variety of camping sites for RVs (full hookups) and tents (primitive). All sites include 30 and 50-amp electrical service, as well as hookups for water and sewer. Each site comes with a picnic table and pedestal grill. Water spigots are spread throughout camp, with one close to each campsite.

There are no showers at this camp, but there are modern restrooms. Registered campers can access water at specific locations throughout the campground for most of the year. Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash and attended to at all times.

Looking to save a couple bucks? Pay just $15 per night by maintaining an Access Pass card or a Senior Pass.

Campers are limited to 14 consecutive (or total) days at the park each calendar year.

Reservations: Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis—no reservations available.

Hot Springs National Park Camping: Privately Operated Hot Springs Campgrounds  

Prefer a few more amenities, like showers and swimming pools? Check out these privately-owned campgrounds operated within the beautiful borders of Hot Springs National Park.

Hot Springs National Park KOA – Hot Springs National Park Camping

hot springs national park camping

Credit to KOA.com

Location: 838 McClendon Rd, Hot Springs Township, Garland County

Open: Year-round

Camping fee: n/a

Website: koa.com/campgrounds/hot-springs-national-park/

Located near the famous Bathhouse Row, this KOA campground in Hot Springs National Park offers RV and tent camping, as well as cabins for rent.

RV Sites –

A variety of RV sites are available, including pull-thru 50-amp full hookup sites that can accommodate up to 8 people. Upgrade to a Deluxe Patio Site and enjoy a large patio with wrought iron furniture and the perfect brick fireplace to cozy up around with loved ones.

Tent sites come with water and electric on a 24 x 24 gravel pad. Each site can accommodate up to 6 campers and their (leashed) pets.  In addition, there are a few cabins for rent throughout the property, including a deluxe option outfitted with a full bath and shower, along with a partial kitchen. Now that’s what we call glamping!

As with most KOA campgrounds, there are a lot of activities to enjoy around here, including an 18-hole mini-golf course, a playground, and a fishing pond with ducks. There’s also a sparkling blue swimming pool that is open until the end of September each summer. Want to explore outside of camp? Hop on the FREE shuttle bus and take a trip into downtown, Magic Springs, or Oaklawn (seasonal)—we recommend all three!

Amenities include laundry facilities, restrooms with showers, a club room, and camp store. Propane and firewood available on-site.

Reservations: Book your stay online, or call 1-800-562-5903

J & J RV Park & Storage – Hot Springs National Park Camping

hot springs national park camping

Credit to jjrvpark.com

Location: 2000 E Grand Ave, Hot Springs National Park

Open: Year-round

Camping fee: All sites are $35 per night

Website: jjrvpark.com

This tranquil RV park borders popular sections of the park, including some hot springs. As a result, it offers the best of both worlds—easy and direct access to all the buzz, while remaining a peaceful and quiet place to set up camp.

As the camp states on their official website, “We provide the most luxurious way to ‘rough it!’” Easy-access pull-through sites include 30/ 50-amp service and cable TV.

Group Camping –

Group camping sites are perfect for large families, businesses, and friends. J & J’s group sites come with an outdoor patio grill, picnic tables, and wide-open space for a game of ball. The group site comes with access to a large meeting room with a full-service kitchen.

Picture yourself enjoying a picnic by the creek, or reading a book near the park’s fountain. This is an ideal campground for someone looking to unwind and relax in a serene and quiet environment, while remaining close to the action.

Laundry facilities and clean bathrooms are available on-site.

Reservations: Call 1-501-321-9851, to book your stay and get weekly or monthly rates

Lake Hamilton RV Resort

hot springs national park camping

Credit to lakehamiltonrv.com

Location: 3207 Albert Pike Rd., Hot Springs National Park

Open: Year-round

Camping fee: $27.50 to $38.50 per night

Website: lakehamiltonrv.com

Lake Hamilton RV Resort sits on the northwest side of beautiful Lake Hamilton, just 10 minutes from downtown Hot Springs. This family-friendly campground has 81 lots, each measuring 20’ x 50’. All sites offer full hookups with 30/50-amp and wireless internet. Lake front sites are available.

Take a dip in the pool, use the public boat ramp, or stop by the office for some bagged ice. Coming with a large group? Contact the park to discuss accommodations for larger groups.

Bathrooms and showers are well-maintained and cleaned daily. Keep your clothes just as clean using the on-site laundry room.

Pets are welcome (breed restrictions apply) and there’s a pet exercise area.

Reservations: Call 1-501-767-4400, or toll free 1-866-767-9996

Cloud Nine RV Park LLC

hot springs national park camping

Credit to cloudninerv.com

Location: 136 Cloud 9 Dr., Hot Springs National Park

Open: All seasons

Camping fee: Daily rate is $33

Website: cloudninerv.com

Cloud Nine RV Park offers a ‘cloud nine’ experience all year long to tent and RV campers. Each extra wide/long site is equipped with full hookups, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV. Other amenities include water, electricity, and sewer. Clean restrooms with showers are open to campers, as well as a laundry facility.

Work off those campfire S’mores by hiking the surrounding trails while taking in jaw-dropping mountain views. If you don’t get enough exercise exploring the wonders that surround, head on over to the camp exercise room. Top off the day challenging fellow campers to a game of pool or horseshoes. Plus, this Hot Springs National Park campground offers a large gathering area perfect for events and meetings.

Reservations: Make reservations online, or call 1-501-262-1996

Catherine’s Landing – Hot Springs National Park Camping

Location: 1700 Shady Grove Rd, Hot Springs National Park

Open: All year

Camping fee: n/a

Website: rvcoutdoors.com/catherines-landing/

This beautiful campground encompasses 400 acres and includes a mile-stretch of waterfront property on Lake Catherine. The land here was once home to local Quapaw Indian tribes who thrived on the water thanks to the abundance of fish and game it supplied. Later, in 1911, the land became a successful dairy farm—known as the Humphreys’ Dairy Farm.

Today, the historically-rich land serves as a special getaway for many. Catherine’s Landing is operated by RVC Outdoors, and offers tent camping and RV sites set in beautiful foliage.

Level tent sites feature a raised 16’ x 16’ pad, a fire pit, BBQ grill, and picnic table. Restrooms, showers, and water are close to each campsite. Parking is within 1/8-mile of sites.

RV Sites –

RV sites are level with concrete pads and full hook-ups (water, sewer, and 30/50-amp electric service). Wi-Fi and cable TV is available at all sites. Each site comes with a fire ring, BBQ grill, and picnic table. Pick between pull-thru, back-in, and waterfront sites.

Ditch the tent or RV and stay in a Yurt or RVC Resort Cottage instead. There are three different yurt sizes, the largest can sleep between 6 and 12 people. The RVC Cottage comes with a full kitchen and private bathroom; it sleeps 2 to 4 people and is fully furnished with flat screen TVs. Some units are equipped with private washer/dryers.

Activites –

Take advantage of the campground’s fitness center, children’s playground, helpful concierge, heated swimming pool, and large fire pits for roasting marshmallows. They offer wine, beer and coffee for sale so you don’t have to give up your favorite ‘big kid’ beverages.

This campground in Hot Springs National Park offers the most activities—including zip lining and a disc golf course, as well as kayak and boat rentals. Plus, it serves as home to the Healthy Kids Running Series.

Catherine’s Landing is pet-friendly.

Reservations: Book your stay online, or call 1-501-262-2550

Campgrounds Near Hot Springs National Park

Here are some of the highest-rated campgrounds located just outside the park. Staying at a campground outside of the park is a good idea if you want to explore more of the area than just the hot springs. The following campgrounds are a quick drive away from the park and its steamy waters, plus they offer access to other area attractions such as Lake Hamilton, Lake Ouachita, Lake Catherine State Park, and more.

The following campgrounds range between 5 and 16 miles away from the park. They are listed in order from closest to farthest away.

Timbercrest RV & Mobile Home

hot springs national park camping

Credit to timbercrestmobilehomeandrv.com

Distance from Hot Springs National Park: 5.4 miles, 10 to 16-minute drive

Location: 3921 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Open: All year

Camping fee: Tent sites start at $25 a day, RV sites start at $45 a day

Website: timbercrestmobilehomeandrv.com

Timbercest RV & Mobile Home Park is home to large shaded sites with big rig access and full hookups. They offer 20/30/50-amp electrical services for RVs. There are sites set up for tents as well, although tent sites do not come with electric hookups.

Campers have the choice to go glamping in a rental cabin. Cabins start at $65 per night and come with water and 20-amp electric.

Overall, the park is incredibly quiet and peaceful. It’s close to many popular attractions, but far enough away to offer serenity and privacy. People love this park—and in proof, many end up living and retiring here.

Guests have access to Wi-Fi, along with showers, bathrooms, laundry facilities, and a dump station. This spacious campground offers plenty of space for hiking, biking, picnicking, and stargazing by a campfire.

Bring your dog along for some family fun—this is a pet-friendly campground.

Reservations: Book your stay online, or call 1-501-525-8361

Young’s Lakeshore RV Resort – Hot Springs National Park Camping

hot springs national park camping

Credit to Young’s Lakeshore FB page

Distance from Hot Springs National Park: 6.2 miles, 10 to 17-minute drive

Location: 1601 Lakeshore Dr, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Open: Year-round for RVs, tent camping is seasonal

Camping fee: $41.80 for overnight RV sites (up to 4 people)

Website: rvhotsprings.com

Tent campers are welcome all summer and RV sites and cottages are open year-round. Pull-thru RV sites offer 50-amp service, with sewer and water hookups. Propane services are available.

Many tent sites are waterfront alongside Lake Hamilton. Some tent sites have water views from both sides.

The on-site “cottage for 2” is comfy cozy. It comes with a queen-size bed and a futon in the living room, as well as cable TV, and Wi-Fi. But who wants to watch TV when you could sit on the porch and look out over Stokes Creek? Cottage rentals start at $125 per night. No pets are allowed in the cottage.

Location –

This campground is located on Lake Hamilton and offers good fishing opportunities. In addition, it is within Hot Springs city limits and just 2.5 miles from the Oaklawn Racing and Gaming Center. Plus, you’re as little as 10 minutes away from Hot Springs National Park and the local Historic District.

Make use of the free private boat ramp to explore Lake Hamilton. Bring your own boat or rent a kayak or canoe for as little as $12 per hour. Back on land, there are plenty of bike trails surrounding this pretty campground to keep you busy.

Campers enjoy access to clean bathhouses with showers, as well as a laundry room outfitted with new washers and dryers. Without doubt this is a peaceful campground, but some sites do come with a little road noise.

Well-behaved and leashed pets are allowed, certain breed restrictions apply. A spacious grassy area behind the pavilion and near the lake serves as the designated dog walking area in the park.

Reservations: Reserve your spot by calling toll-free 1-800-470-7875

Hot Springs Off Road Vehicle Park – Hot Springs National Park Camping

hot springs national park camping

Credit to orvpark.com

Distance from Hot Springs National Park: 8.9 miles, 17-minute drive

Location: 2100 Mill Creek Rd, Hot Springs, AR 71901

Open: Year-round

Camping fee: Overflow tent camping (no amenities) is $10 per night, full-service RV sites are $80 per night (Thursday-Sunday)

Website: orvpark.com

Want to visit the local hot springs and enjoy some good old-fashioned off-roading fun? Hot Springs Off Road Vehicle Park is home to exactly what you’re looking for! Plus, they offer a variety of camping opportunities at unique price points, which means there’s something for everyone. Bonus perk: most campsites are located on the water and surrounded by lush forests.

Overflow tent camping is primitive and comes with no hook-ups or amenities. For just $5 more, you can get a tent site with picnic tables, fire rings, and water.

RV Sites –

As for RV sites, there are overflow RV sites ($15 per night) that come with no hookups. Value RV sites ($65 per night, Thursday-Sunday) come with 50/30-amp hook-ups, water, picnic tables, and fire rings. Premium RV sites are $80 per night (Thursday through Sunday) and come with 50/30 and 120-amp hookups; as well as water, picnic tables, and fire rings.

There are cabins for rent as well, which come with private showers and bathrooms, a mini-fridge, and air conditioning/heat.

Once you decide where you want to stay there’s so much to do with over 1,200 acres to explore. There are well-marked trails for beginners and more difficult trails too. Over and over, people cite how much fun they had at the camp’s off-road park. In addition, past guests frequently praise the cleanliness of the camp and its enjoyable, family-friendly atmosphere.

Campers have access to well-maintained restrooms and showers, as well as a convenience store. There is a 3,900-square foot pavilion available for group events.

Reservations: Call 1-501-625-3600 to reserve a tent or RV site, or to book a cabin

Treasure Isle RV Park – Hot Springs National Park Camping

hot springs national park camping

Credit to goodsam.com

Distance from Hot Springs National Park: 10.1 miles, 25-minute drive

Location: 205 Treasure Isle Rd, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Open: All year

Camping fee: Back-in RV sites start at $30 per night

Website: treasureislerv.com

Situated on Lake Hamilton, Treasure Isle RV Park offers camping and then some! If you’re looking for a waterfront spot, there are a lot of beautiful options here. “We may be bias but we believe that we have the most beautiful lake front spots on Lake Hamilton and our repeat customers agree,” the camp’s official website reads.

As its name suggests, this place is a true treasure offering 45 pull-thru and 20 back-in full-service sites. All lots offer 50-amp and 30-amp services, along with hookups for water, and sewer. Guests can tap into 7 cable TV channels.

Cabin Rental –

There is a cabin for rent on-site. It comes with a queen-size bed, full kitchen, front porch, dining area, and TV. Wi-Fi is not offered throughout the park, but there is a hot spot in the office and pool area—so you’re never too far away from checking your emails or uploading a new pic to Facebook.

The camp is situated on the Northwest edge of the lake and is fully equipped for water sports. Enjoy numerous pristine lakefront spots to set up camp. The lake offers tubing, jet skiing, and waterskiing, along with boating and fishing, just steps away from your camper door.

The lake is open for swimming, but you also have the option to swim in the on-site pool. Plus, this campground is in proximity to many fun attractions including Hot Springs National Park, Magic Springs & Crystal Falls, an Alligator Farm & Petting Zoo, golfing, and more.

New bathrooms and showers were installed in 2016. There is an on-site laundry room for guests to use. Oh, and there’s not just one, but THREE pavilions located alongside the water.

Reservations: To reserve your spot call 1-501-767-6852, or make your reservation online

Leisure Landing RV Park

hot springs national park camping

Credit to roverpass.com

Distance from Hot Springs National Park: 10 miles, 29-minute drive

Location: 201 Broadview Dr., Hot Springs, AR 71913

Open: All year

Camping fee: Basic RV sites start at $32 per night

Website: leisurelandingrvpark.com

Bringing a big rig? Leisure Landing offers 60-foot sites right on the shores of beautiful Lake Hamilton. There are no pull-thru sites, but sites can accommodate big rigs with slide-outs, and tow vehicle parking is provided next to some sites. Campsites are not waterfront but they are within walking distance to the lake. Charcoal grills and picnic tables are available throughout the park.

Activities –

As far as activities go, there’s a fishing dock, fitness center, and meeting room. The lake offers all types of water recreation, from boating to tubing. The clubhouse is equipped with a TV lounge, as well as the exercise room, a kitchenette, and other amenities. This park is close to a lot of fun activities in the area, from vibrant night life to family-fun tours.

Leisure Landing is incredibly quiet without any road noise. Guests have access to clean restrooms, showers, and a laundry room. The campground operates on city sewer is satellite-friendly.

Bringing your dog? The resort maintains an off-leash dog park for the furry members of your family.

Reservations: Make reservations online, or call 1-501-525-3289

Crystal Springs Campground

hot springs national park camping

Credit to lake-ouachita.com

Distance from Hot Springs National Park: 19.9 miles, 29-minute drive

Location: 1130 N Crystal Springs Rd, Royal, AR 71968

Open: All year

Camping fee: $41.80 for overnight RV sites (up to 4 people)

Website: crystalspringsresort.com & arkansas.com/attractions/detail/crystal-springs-recreation-area-campground/94120

This “Class A” Park is situated on beautiful Lake Ouachita, just 10 miles outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas. The park and surrounding area were originally built by the US Army Corps of Engineers back between 1946 and 1954 as part of a flood control, hydropower, and navigation project. Today, the land is approved for recreational use, water supply, and fish and wildlife management. There are a variety of campgrounds spread around the lake with over 1,000 total camping sites.

Campsites –

Crystal Springs Campground is home to 74 of these campsites. It is surrounded by rolling hills and tucked away in a protected cove just three miles off the main channel of Lake Ouachita. This campground offers newly remodeled amenities, and two beaches with picnic areas.

Each site at Crystal Springs Campground comes with a concrete table, pedestal grill, ground grill, lantern post, water hookups, and shade. Up to 50-amp electric service is available at several sites. Also, the camp maintains group sites for larger families and groups.

Along with camping sites, Crystal Springs Resort offers several cabins and rental homes. The largest is The Lodge, which packs 14 bedrooms and can fit up to 42 people.

Campers have access to showers, flush toilets, and a trailer dump station. In addition, potable water is available at each site. The family-friendly park maintains a picnic area, and kid-friendly amenities. Boat on the lake using the on-site boat ramp. Or, enjoy the water without a boat at the camp’s swim beaches. Going fishing? Did we mention there is a convenient fish cleaning station?!

Reservations: Reserve your spot by calling the National Recreation Reservation System’s toll free number at 1-877-444-6777, or online via recreation.org

Lake Catherine Campground at Lake Catherine State Park

hot springs national park camping

Credit to arkansasstateparks.com

Distance from Hot Springs National Park: 16.3 miles, 32-minute drive

Location: 1200 Catherine Park Rd, Hot Springs, AR 71913

Open: All year

Camping fee: Overflow (no hookup) campsites start at $12, full-service sites are $34 per night

Website: arkansasstateparks.com//park-finder/park.aspx?id=2

Come stay alongside Lake Catherine, a beautiful 1,940-acre lake in Hot Springs. This state park campground maintains 70-campsites, including primitive tent sites, as well as full-hookup sites.

68 sites are located right on the water. Most parking pads can accommodate large big rigs measuring over 60 feet. Sites are pull-in and back-in, and feature water and sewer hookups, as well as 20-30-50-amp electric services. A tent pad, grill, picnic table, and lantern hanger are available on each site.

The most basic tent sites come with a view of the water and offer 30-amp service, as well as water hookups.  Upgrade to a waterfront tent site and enjoy waking up a couple steps away from the water’s edge. Some RV sites are situated on the water, while others offer views of the surrounding woods.

Renting –

Instead of camping, you could always rent one of two rustic cabins that come with kitchenettes. There is a yurt for rent as well.

The park’s marina is only open in the summer but boat rentals are available all year. There is a launch ramp on-site. In addition, guests have free access to picnic sites, playgrounds, and a pavilion to gather as a family or meet new friends. The camp offers guided horseback trail rides in the summer when weather permits. There are a variety of other guided tours available as well, sans horses.

Showers, restrooms, and a dump station are available on-site. The gift store is only open in summer and sells groceries, ice, and more.

Reservations: To make a reservation call 1-877-879-2741

Free Camping Near Hot Springs National Park

Looking for a free Hot Springs camping spot? Here are a couple highly-rated options in the area.

Cedar Glades Park

hot springs national park camping

Credit to RVPoints.com

Location: Cedar Glades Park, just 2.5 miles from Bathhouse Row

GPS: 34.538382, -93.086356

This paved road offers free year-round camping. There are 6 to 15 campsites in the area. Unlike most free campgrounds, you’ll find convenient amenities nearby including a playground, picnic tables, restrooms, and trash cans. Coming to see the hot springs? Bathhouse Row is just 2.5 miles from this free campground.

The site is largely catered to tent camping. RV camping is permitted just beware there are no hookups or marked spaces for RVs. All RV campers must be self-contained. Sites are first-come first-served, and some offer far better accommodations than others.  The area is managed by public county park officials.

Learn more

Buckville

hot springs national park camping

Credit to lakeouachita.org

Location: Buckville Road, Jessieville, AR 71949

GPS: 34.612959, -93.342171

This free camping site is open all year and located within the Corp of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division’s Vicksburg District. It is near Lake Ouachita, about a 50-minute drive from Hot Springs National Park. There are some shady spots that overlook the water and offer privacy, as well as a fire ring and picnic table. Just up the road is a spot to put boats in the water.

Nearby amenities include drinking water and restrooms. Popular activities include fishing and boating. Maximum RV length at this site is 20-feet. The area is maintained by the Public Corp of Engineers.

Learn more