Camping at Gulpha Gorge Campground costs $10 per night for primitive sites. For sites with hookups, it is $30 per night, utilities include 30 and 50 amp electrical connections, water, and sewer connections at each site.Sites are available on a first come, first served basis. Each campsite has a picnic table, pedestal grill, and water nearby. While there are no showers, there are modern restrooms.Your stay is limited to 14 consecutive days.
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.
This was a really beautiful, busy campground nestled in a river! It was hot as anything (but also August) and very crowded. The town the National park is in is really cool! A lot of history here. And this campground is close to all of it- along with being dog friendly!
Well kept, close proximity camping. Close to each other and a nice scenic river and a trail to the top. I would not stay here for the true camping experience but it is a nice place to stay near the tourist side of Hot Springs that doesn't feel like town.
This site Is OK. The site is near a river and is very pretty. The site is 10 dollars for dry camping and 30 dollars for the full hookup like showers. The site has a lot of RVs at night so you can hear generators and TVs. The site is well maintained and the restrooms were really clean and there is a propane heater in the restroom because the temperature drops at night. At night you should have extra firewood at night because you will go through it pretty quick and there is a really cool breeze at night even though its summer. The Rv campers were really friendly occasionally coming over and sharing their chili and mac and cheese. There is a grill and picnic table in the campground. There is a trail at the start of the gorge called Dead Chief Trail with was really difficult because of the slippery dirt and elevation gain.
With close proximity to the town of Hot Springs, AR, this campground is well maintained and convenient but lacks in privacy. I stayed here as an overnight while driving north through the Midwest. I got here late and they had a ticket dispensing machine to pay for and select the site you wanted (much like the ones used to pay for parking). The campground was clean though the site I was in (32) was a bit small and located between the two main roads in and out of the camp. I was also close to the bathroom for better or worse. The bathrooms had running water and were clean enough – nothing too special. My site was grassy and flat but lacking in overall privacy. There were a row of campsites right next to the creek that runs through the campground and those looked much nicer. I didn’t have reservations and arrived late so I must have gotten the slim pickings of what was left. Because I was there in the middle of summer the mosquitos were bad though a nice cloud cover kept the temperatures down. I imagine the sites closer to the water may have had many mosquitos! The other campers were all very friendly which made up for their relative close proximity. My favorite part of the campsite was the fireflies which I hadn’t seen in many many years as a west coast resident. They were definitely the highlight of my stay. The next morning I explored the Hot Springs National Park. The campground is a short drive to the bathhouse row. It was midweek so there were very few people wandering around. The bathhouses were beautiful and though I did not indulge the spa packages seemed very nice. There were plenty of shops restaurants and other things to do in this area. I took a scenic drive up one of the hills and got a great view (but cloudy) of the surrounding area. The hot springs can be seen coming out of the mountains as well as out into manmade fountains. They also have locations where you can fill up your water bottles with the mineral water for free – delicious!! There seemed to be lots of lakes and hiking nearby as well. Overall this is a very unique national park and a perfectly fine campground. While not making my top ten, it was a great place to spend a night.