The Best Time to Visit Hot Springs National Park

Best Time to Visit Hot Springs National Park

The best time to visit Hot Springs National Park is August to October. 

Although this is the time that more people flock to the park, it remains the best since most of the everyday activities in the park revolve around water. 

The warmer months are prime since they won’t cause immediate shivering as soon as you climb out.

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Best time for good weather

The best time for good weather in Hot Springs National Park is during the Fall months of August through October.

These are typically the driest months of the year, and the outdoor conditions tend to be beautiful. There is also a change in the color of the land as the nights begin to get colder.

The temperature in the Fall is relatively mild, with a majority of sunny days. Even if you see mostly dry days on the weather forecast, it is best to bring a rain jacket in preparation. The outdoor conditions make this the best time of year to hike in the area as well.

Best time for camping

Camping in Hot Springs

The best time for camping in Hot Springs National Park is during August, September, and October.

These autumnal months bring a steadier weather forecast than during most of the remainder of the year.

During these months, the weather can begin to get quite cold at night, but most people find this preferable to camping during the hot summer months. Be prepared for cooler temperatures with well-rated sleeping bags and camping blankets.

Tent campsites in the area around Hot Springs National Park are typically open year-round if you feel like avoiding the crowds. Pack extra insulation during the winter months, although they do not get too much snow.

Read More : Guide to Camping in Hot Springs National Park

Best time for hiking

Hiking in Hot Springs

The best time for hiking in Hot Springs National Park is during the spring months, March, April, and May.

Since hiking involves more exertion than most of the other park activities, cooler weather is preferable, and your hiking clothes can make up for the cool temperatures if needed.

Water levels are higher in the spring, making the streams, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls more appealing for passing hikers. The other great allure to hiking during the spring versus hiking at any other time of the year in Arkansas is the display of wildflowers. 

There are many different varieties and species that pop up along the trails in Hot Springs National Park.

Read More : Hiking Trails in Hot Springs National Park

Best time to avoid crowds

The best time to avoid crowds in Hot Springs National Park is during the winter months into early spring.

The fact of the matter is that due to the main attractions being hot water and the relatively mild temperatures year-round in this area, there is no guaranteed time to avoid people.

Winter months are better for this only because most people avoid traveling during the winter and early spring. However, since the hot water baths sound even more appealing during the winter than they would in the summer, certain crowds make this National Park their winter getaway.

Best time for bird watching

Bird Watching in Hot Springs

The best time for bird watching in Hot Springs National Park is during the spring and the fall.

These months of April and May, along with September and October, feature the biggest bird migrations. Arkansas happens to be one of the central areas between its northward and southbound destinations.

The National Park’s location in the middle of some larger National Forests makes it prime for birders. During any time of the year, you can expect to get rewarded through the lens of your binoculars. The region is a magnet for songbirds, videos, and about three dozen species of warblers.

Best time for mountain biking

Mountain Biking in Hot Springs

The best time for mountain biking in Hot Springs National Park is during the summer months, June, July, and August.

It is warmest during these months, so if you prefer to bike in cooler weather, springtime might be preferable for you.

Fall features the best weather for mountain biking. However, once the shed leaves in the forest build up along the ground during the Fall, riding can become more unstable.

Hot Springs National Park Seasons

Summer

Hot Springs National Park - Summer

The summer months in Hot Springs National Park can be quite hot. Prepare for these by bringing plenty of water and dressing in cool clothes. Bring ice packs for your coolers if you are camping or hiking.

The average summer temperature rests around 91°F or 32°C. It can reach over 100°F or 40°C at some points, although these high temperatures are not typical. The summer is drier, but there is still a chance of thunderstorms you should prepare for when packing.

Fall

Hot Springs National Park - Fall

The Fall months are September, October, and November. These months it begins to grow much cooler, especially during the nighttime. The day to night temperature averages can change up to 20°F within 24 hours.

The average temperature during September is still quite hot, resting at around 86°F or 30°C. There are bound to be days of rain, but these are few and far between during the Fall months. During October, the highs get closer to 76°F or 24°C. November sees another dip in the temperature to 63°F or 17°C during the daytime.

Nighttime temperatures as the season come to an end can get very close to freezing, so pack your items accordingly. A winter sleeping bag will be the most appropriate during these times.

Winter

There is not as much snow and freezing daytime temperatures as in other parts of America in the winter. This temperate weather is most of the reason that the park and its surrounding campgrounds stay open year-round.

The winter months are December, January, and February. These can be some of the best to visit the park as there are bound to be fewer people, but the hot springs will feel even better to contrast the chilly weather outside.

During all of these months, the daytime and nighttime temperatures hit a low for the year but stay about the same throughout the winter. The average is 53°F or 12°C during the day and just hovering around freezing temperatures at night.

Read More : What Should I Pack for Winter Camping?

Spring

Hot Springs National Park - Spring

Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Arkansas because of the plethora of wildflowers and the songbirds’ migration. The spring months are March, April, and May. This season is also the year’s rainiest season, with about one-third of each month getting some precipitation.

The temperatures rise steeply during the Spring. They start at a daytime average of 65°F or 18°C in March and ending up around 81°F or 27°C by the end of May.

Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams is a writer, plant-nerd, and outdoor enthusiast. She has traveled extensively, around the U.S., throughout Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Everywhere she treks, she takes time to enjoy the outdoors. John Muir is her hero. She aspires to inspire people to live better as he did.