The best time to visit Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is from February to April and August to October.
August to October is when the summer crowds are at their peak. But since most of the activities here revolve around water, you don’t have to worry about being in crowded areas. The warmer months are prime since they won’t cause immediate shivering as soon as you climb out.
August to October
August has daytime highs in the low 90s and nighttime lows in the upper 60s. This makes it the best month to visit Hot Springs National Park. The daytime highs fall to the mid-70s as October draws near, while the nighttime low stays around the the50s.
As a result of the colder temperatures, the green hues of the parks and woodlands surrounding Hot Springs are replaced with orange, gold, and crimson hues. The milder weather also makes the region’s outdoor attractions a little more bearable to explore, making it ideal for leaf-peeping.
What’s on :
November to January
Hot Springs National Park experiences daytime highs in the mid-50s and nighttime lows in the 30s during the winter. During the winter, visitors can enjoy the warm waters of the hot springs.
The cheapest hotel rates are also in the winter.
What’s on :
- Garvan Woodland Gardens Holiday Lights (November to December)
- Hot Springs Renaissance Faire (November)
- Ice on Ice in Hot Springs National Park (December)
February to April
The peak season starts in February when the daytime temperatures range from the mid-50s to the mid-70s. Rain is also rather prevalent, with an average 20% likelihood of precipitation on most days. Check the weather before leaving and bring your rain gear, just in case.
What’s on :
- Arkansas Derby (April)
May to July
The busiest time of the year is during summer. The combination of warm weather and spring break makes the town a popular vacation spot for people of all ages and interests.
Be prepared to pay slightly more if you decide to go during these warm months. Make reservations for those activities you simply cannot miss, such as trips to bathhouses and camping, as certain attractions are booked up far in advance.
What’s on :
- Hot Springs Fishing Challenge (May to July)
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
The best time for camping in Hot Springs National Park is from August to 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.
Best time for hiking
The best time for hiking in Hot Springs National Park is during the spring months, from March through 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.
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
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
The best time for mountain biking in Hot Springs National Park is during the summer months, from June to 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.
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.