Camping at Gulpha Gorge Campground costs $30 per night for all sites. All sites have full hookups: 30 and 50 amp electric, water and sewer connections. Sites are not pull-through. Each campsite has a picnic table, pedestal grill, and water. Camping in Gulpha Gorge Campground is limited to a total of 14 consecutive days and a cumulative total of 30 days in any calendar year. Each 14 day consecutive stay must be followed by a minimum of a 7 day break.
It’s hard to believe this little campground is on the farside of the touristy Hot Springs. A nice little stream runs along the backside of the campground and it’s actually quiet. You can hike up and over the hill to see the springs. Not a lot of space to put a bunch of toys but a well maintained area.
Not a great campground if you’re looking to be in peace and quiet. Very close to the city & very crowded due to convenience of trail heads. Clean bathrooms though 😌
Pros: This campground has it all- great creek, incredible hiking up and over into Hot Springs, nearby disc golf course that is the best we have seen, close to all the attractions, level asphalt pads, water and power (and i think also sewer?) privacy between sites (trees, bushes) great fire pit/with cooking grate AND a grill at our site (25 is awesome), bath house with sinks and toilets ONLY
Cons: you can’t stay forever, no showers
Pro tip: eat at Superior! Great brewery/restaurant, friendly staff!
This campground was pretty and it was clean. Arrive early because it is first come first serve and gets full. Sites are close together but overall I have no complaints. Apparently there is $10 primitive camping, but I did not see it and in the office where you pay (by machine) all I saw were $30 flat rate for all sites. So it’s quite expensive to tent camp here. No showers, but a relatively clean bathroom.
Absolutely one of the very best campgrounds we've ever stayed. Beautiful Hot Springs nearby
There are not a lot of National Parks located smack in the middle of a town, but Hot Springs is an exception. With the majority of the park lining one of the more busy strips of Hot Springs a campground so close is such an asset to being near all the action and that is where Gulpha Gorge comes into play.
There are many positives to this campground well beyond the proximity itself. With electricity at all sites and a flat rate it seems to have a lot of positives to check off. However with the positives also are a few negatives. That flat rate applies to tents and RVs, which makes it a little steep for a typical tent camper in this area at $30. For an RV its a deal! Also for that price point there is no shower available only a restroom.
I checked out this campsite when trying to make a decision on a trip in August. It was warm outside but not overly hot at the time which was nice. However, because the summer was still winding down, unfortunately this campground was full as it is a first come first serve campground. This was more than a little disappointing considering I had driven so far and then had to settle for finding another option.
But because I do travel often and many times to leave Texas and get pretty much anywhere I do pass through Arkansas, I went ahead and checked out the site a little before finding my next option. It was great! The grounds were well kept, the roads were smooth and wide enough to travel down easily and the people were all pretty friendly.
While it didn’t have showers it did offer a pavilion and an amphitheater which apparently they have functions at often. And the best thing I found was one of the National Park trails heads right out from the campground and over to one of the rivers/creeks which made for a really amazing place to lay your head at night.
The other trails for the park were within walking distance. As this is one of the smallest parks in the park system there are only about 25 miles of trails all together and the campground is pretty much the hub.
I ended parking not far from the campground in a free lot located just behind the Springs row, I suggest if you stay here and do decide you want to drive you look into this parking structure which is clearly labeled FREE. From here I walked around some of the trails which could have been accessed from inside the campground and also visited the main attraction, the visitor center and hot springs. All within 5 minutes of this site, pretty amazing, no wonder it filled up before I could get there.
I will be back, even with that $30 price tag, because though the sticker shock might have been off putting the savings in gas just driving around would have by far made up for that little difference of what I ended up paying at my other campsite.
- Arrive Early!!!
- Consider outdoor shower options since there is no shower option at this location just make sure you are respectful of others.
- Bring your supplies in, there is no reason to leave once you get here if you come prepared. Just come prepared and then enjoy your time!
I camped in a primitive site and was able to hike the Sunset trail straight from my campsite. The campsites are pretty lose together and RVs were mingled in with primitive sites, so it wasn't really quiet. However, the quick access to the hiking trails was nice.
Hot springs in AR with lots of history and fantastic hiking trails. The hot springs are in bathhouses, not outdoor pools. I personally prefer the pools found elsewhere, but these are very nice and important to preserve the history of the area. Campground is simple but modern.
Yay: so many trails of all distances and difficulties, shady campground.
Nay: close to town, which can be good or annoying depending on your mood. Sites are not very private, but they are fine.
Surprise: awesome fountains with the spring water and you can take as much as you want!
Hot Springs is unlike other national parks in the fact that it is an urban park, located in the middle of Hot Springs, Arkansas. To camp inside the park, your only option is Gulpha Gorge. When we visited in February, we found this campground almost empty, adequate, and an easy way to save money while visiting the national park.
Amenities at Gulpha Gorge include basic flush toilets, picnic tables, and hookups at every site. Sites all run $30/night, and they are all first-come, first-served. This was not a problem for us, since we were visiting in the off-season, but during summer it probably fills up quickly.
Our main motivation for staying here was that we wanted to camp inside each national park we visited. But in an urban park like Hot Springs, the experience wasn’t much of a scenic one. If we return, we’ll opt for camping in the nearby Ouachita National Forest or something a bit cheaper and more secluded. Gulpha Gorge was perfectly adequate for an in-park camping experience.
The rest of our time at Hot Springs was spent touring the historic bathhouses (free ranger tours!), hiking the trails -- we liked the Sunset Trail! -- and ending our day at the NPS’s only brewery: Superior Bathhouse.
You can read much more about our three days in the park on our blog: Switchback Kids (Hot Springs)
This campground is tightly pack with little privacy. The sites are adequate for a tent but its set up for the camper/RV crowd. On the plus side, it is close to town and all the attractions and close to plenty of trails to explore and only cost $10 to camp.