The Ouachita Mountains surround the town of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Looking to the West, the mountains frame the town with many various hues of color in the fall season. There are ten miles of good mountain roads to get up close to the many species of trees and flora growing on the mountains. Hot Springs Mountain Drive is a popular spot to see the leaves.
There is a mountain observation tower on Hot Springs Drive. This 216 foot tower enables the visitor to see the park, city, and vicinity. The beauty of this landscape is that every scenic point on the road to West Mountain offers a different, more spectacular view. Some switchbacks offer the view of the city. Others view the lakes that are in the area. The placid blue waters appear as mirrors from the vantage points along the highway leading to the summit of West Mountain.
West, Music, Sugarloaf, and Blowout Mountains make up the Hot Springs National Park area. With these four mountains in close proximity to each other, the opportunity to see the loveliest Fall leaves is feasible.
For those adventurous hikers, there are several trails around West Mountain. One such trail, The Sunset Trail, follows mountains crests from the overlook on West Mountain, to Music Mountain,l Sugarloaf Mountain, and Blowout Mountain. This trail is mountaineous, however, the difficulty is listed as Moderate in the Arkansas Adventure Guide published by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.
Hot Springs National Park can be reach from scenic State Route 7 or U.S. 70, and U.S. 270. The city, itself, offers spa treatments beginning with the many hot springs that are in the area. Bath House Row is on Central Avenue in the City. The restored bath houses line this area, and one of these offers spa treatments and a bath in the water from the springs. There are two thermal springs that still operate in Hot Springs National park. The visitors center is located on Bathhouse Row. There are self guiding tours and a guided tour available. Maps and other information can be obtained from this site. You can contact them at 501-624-2701.
Hot Springs National Park has many rock formations to complement the leaves. Quartz and other rocks made this an ideal place for the rock hound.
The best part of this Fall foliage trip is that it requres very little walking. The scenic overlooks can be viewed from a car window. The elderly and handicap can enjoy this scenery from the comforts of the automobile. This is a family type adventure in the Fall of the year.
References: AAA Publishing Company
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Hot Springs National Park Visitors Center