Scenic USA - Arkansas

Valley of Vapors

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Bathhouse Row - Hot Springs, Arkansas

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Drifting up from the valley of vapors, it's steam that fills the air at the western edge of Hot Springs Mountain. Fordyce Interior View - Hot Springs, Arkansas The city of Hot Springs grew up around these springs, creating a popular destination for vacationers and those seeking health remedies. During the late 1800s, splendid bathhouses lined Central Avenue, catering to America's Golden Age visitors.
     Once known as Hot Springs Reservation, the area was set aside in 1832 to protect the park's hot springs. An early version of a national park, the springs were the first area in the United States to be preserved for their natural features. Too hot to bathe in, 47 hot springs bubble up Fordyce Bathhouse Skylight - Hot Springs, Arkansas from Hot Springs Mountain at an average temperature of 143 degrees Fahrenheit. Surrounding the city of Hot Springs, the park invites its guests to hike some of the park's 26 miles of trails, drive its scenic mountain roads, picnic by Gulpha Creek, or take a thermal mineral bath!
     Today, Fordyce Bathhouse is open for tours and doubles as the Hot Springs National Park visitor center. An extensive restoration brought the grand bathhouse back to life and now displays all of its former luxuries, refitted with period furniture and equipment. The multi-storied, 23 room building contains late 19th century therapy equipment, sitting and changing rooms, guest quarters and a gym. Bathhouse Row, pictured here, is a National Historic Landmark District and still offers a hot springs bathing experience at the Buckstaff.

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