Along with Bath house Row on Central Avenue, Hot Springs also is surrounded by several mountains. Two of these mountains have scenic drives as part of the Park. Hot Springs Mountain and West Mountain. We opted to start off on Hot Springs Mountain.
The road leading up to the summit is one way (thank goodness) and had plenty of sharp turns at slow rates of speed. You definitely knew you were going up a mountain. When we reached the summit, we pulled into the scenic pull off and took in the view.
Then we glanced behind us and saw the tower.
Obviously we were not the first people to stop at the overlook before realizing the tower was right there, as there is a drive around so that you can get back to the tower if you stop at the overlook first.
You enter through the gift shop and purchase your admission to the top. Prices are $7 for adults 12 and up, $6 for seniors and $4 for children 5-11. Children under 5 are free. You either can take the stairs or the elevator. We opted for the elevator. You can go straight to the top, or stop one floor down and visit the museum. We opted to start up top and then work our way down.
The views were incredible.
The wind was pretty strong up there, so we headed back in and down, ready to continue on with our driving.
West Mountain is pretty much just on the other side of town. Perhaps a 10-15 minute drive from Hot Springs Mountain. The curves aren’t quite as tight on these roads, but you still need to keep your eye on the road.
It is easy to see how the springs formed from the upthrust of the Earth’s crust, as visible here at the top of the mountain.
For those looking for something a little more active (more than just the arm workout you get driving those curves), you might opt for one or more of the hiking trails peppered throughout the park.
There’s a reason I mentioned keeping your eyes open while driving. As we headed back down the mountain we came around a curve and found two fawns making their leisurely way across the road. And then around the next bend, we saw a fox slyly slink back into the woods.
Definitely a must see in Hot Springs. The flora and fauna are great, but the views are spectacular.