Hot Springs Journals

Exploring the Hot Springs Arkansas Region

A June 2005 trip to Hot Springs by JoeM

SunBay Resort Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas More Photos
Quote: After flying into Memphis and spending two nights there and a night in Little Rock, we set up base in the SunBay Resort in Hot Springs. Hiking, boating, diamond mining, wildlife, and exploring this national park were among our highlights of this trip.

Exploring the Hot Springs Arkansas Region

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Overview

Mining for Diamonds Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
1. The Hot Springs Woodland Garden, featuring wooded gardens set on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Hamilton 2. Mining for Diamonds about 45 minutes southwest (didn’t find any – darn!) in the only place that has them in North America 3. Hiking in Petit Jean State Park about 1.5 hours north – nice river, great views, well-maintained trail, and a large venomous snake 4. Hiking the Buck’s Loop at Iron Springs – featured quartz crystals in the rocks on the hillside, fields of ripe wild blueberries for the taking, a nice trail, and some overlooks 5. Hot Springs National Park – the first park set aside (in the 1820s) by Congress, featuring 18 thermal (143 degrees F) spri...Read More

SunBay Resort

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Hotel

SunBay Resort Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:A wonderful Italian restaurant on a hill next to the resort. Lake Hamilton has a small inlet into the resort. Hot Springs National Park is about 7 miles away. Best Things About the Resort:Water access to Lake Hamilton, with nice views of lake. Nice pool. Watched Memorial Day fireworks from resort balcony.Resort Experience:We stayed in a lodge two-bedroom that was rated privacy for four but sleeps eight. We had another couple and their two teenage sons join us, and it was cramped. This was the smallest two-bedroom unit we have ever stayed in during our 25 years exchanging with RCI. There were only place settings for six, and we had to h...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 18, 2005

SunBay Resort
4810 Central Avenue
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hiking in Petit Jean State Park

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Attraction

Hiking in Petit Jean State Park Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
The park rises from the plains surrounding it. We stopped at an overlook when we first entered the park for great views. Then we drove to the lodge. From there, it's a short but steep hike down to Cedar Creek and then up the creek to the falls. Water was a little light for the day, but the falls and rocks around it were still quite impressive. Backtracking, we then continued along the creek until we reached the Boy Scout Trail crossing. There was no one else on the this trail. Lots of wildflowers, and as we were admiring one, we came upon a large cottonmouth snake in its den. It was happy to let us look (not too closely!). We then hiked up from the creek and spent a little time i...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 18, 2005

Hiking in Petit Jean State Park
1285 Petit Jean Mountain Road
Hot Springs, Arkansas 72110
(501) 727-5441

Garvin Botanical Gardens

Attraction | "Exploring Garvin Botanical Gardens"

Garvin Botanical Gardens Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
We walked around this botanical garden and enjoyed the many waterfalls, trails, plantings, and views. They have a mini-stonehenge circle, a large pavillion, a snack bar, a bonsai exhibit, Japanese garden, wildflower garden, and many types of paths and trails. The gardens are very extensive. They are building a kids' area to make this interesting for younger children. Hydrangea, annuals, and wildflowers were all in bloom when we visited. Occasionally, we found vistas looking down on the Lake. A very enjoyable afternoon outing.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 18, 2005

Garvin Botanical Gardens
Along Lake Hamilton near Dam
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park Photo, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Quote:
During the day, the downtown is bustling with like a typical tourist town - people hawking tours, timeshares, and who knows what else to those walking up and down the streets. Many little shops are opposite the park buildings. The park buildings are the preserved bath houses and form a boulevard. This park was set aside by the Federal Government in the 1830s and became a NP in the 1920s. From downtown, we hiked along the Promenade and saw views of the buildings and visited an open spring. Water was hot (120F+), as promised. Surprisingly, the hot water is not a result of a volcano but simply cracks in the earth that let it escape from deep down. We hiked around the top of the mountain. A...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 18, 2005

Hot Springs National Park
P.o. Box 1860
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71902
(501) 624-2308