Can You Camp Anywhere in Hot Springs National Park?

Hot Springs National Park, in central Arkansas, is one of the oldest national parks in the United States. It is known for its thermal springs and historic bathhouses, and is a popular tourist attraction year-round. Many visitors to the park enjoy camping within its boundaries, and there are a variety of camping options available.

The most popular camping option in Hot Springs National Park is primitive camping. Primitive camping requires no equipment beyond basic supplies like a tent, sleeping bag, and firewood.

Primitive campers can choose from several areas throughout the park designated for primitive camping. Campfires are allowed in these areas as long as they are built with properly-sized wood and extinguished properly when done.

For those looking for more amenities, there are several developed campgrounds within Hot Springs National Park where visitors can rent campsites with electrical hookups, water access, and other modern conveniences. These developed campgrounds typically have restroom facilities as well as picnic tables and fire rings.

Backcountry camping is also allowed throughout Hot Springs National Park with a permit from the park office. Backcountry campers must obtain their permit prior to entering the backcountry area, and must abide by all rules and regulations while in the backcountry. Camping outside of designated areas is strictly prohibited.

Can You Camp Anywhere in Hot Springs National Park?

The short answer to this question is no; however, there are plenty of options for those wanting to camp within Hot Springs National Park. Primitive campsites are widely available throughout the park, as well as developed campgrounds with modern amenities like electrical hookups and water access.

Backcountry camping with a permit from the park office is also an option for those wishing to explore more remote areas of Hot Springs National Park.


Hot Springs National Park offers a variety of camping options for visitors looking to explore its unique landscapes. While it’s not possible to camp anywhere within the park’s boundaries, there are plenty of places to pitch your tent or RV that offer convenient amenities like electricity and running water. Additionally, backcountry permits allow adventurous campers to explore more remote areas of this beautiful national park.

Photo of author

Chris Powell