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Eclipse by Numbers | Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas | Hot Springs National Park Arkansas

Eclipse by Numbers | Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas


The anticipation is building as we move closer to the greatest celestial event of our lifetime. A total solar eclipse will be visible in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas on Monday, April 8, 2024 at 1:51PM. Hot Springs is located in the Path of Totality, making it one of the ideal sites to view the eclipse. It is said that in the middle of the day it will become dark, crickets will chirp, and a 360 degree sunset will appear during the eclipse’s peak. A wondrous moment that only those in the Path of Totality may remember forever. What better place than Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas to be on April 8, 2024.


Planning for the April 8, 2024 eclipse has been ongoing since the partial solar eclipse in 2017, nearly seven years ago. Following that less than memorable event, the Visit Hot Springs social media team nonchalantly posted a Facebook event for the 2024 eclipse. Surprisingly, the event attracted well over 70,000 interested users within hours of the post. It was the first realization that this cosmic event tickled the imagination of a subculture of eclipse chasers that are willing to travel great distances to witness an event that only lasts three minutes and thirty-seven seconds. To put that in perspective, Bonnie Tyler’s hit song “Total Eclipse of the “Heart” only lasts 5:37 minutes. “Turn around bright eyes,” we’re in for something of a “hit.”


Any location in the path of totality will be lucky enough to have excellent conditions for viewing the eclipse. Experts say that our Southern neighbors in Mexico will have the best chance for clear skies, and Arkansas will also have favorable conditions for viewing, but the further North you are the less chance for an optimal forecast. Our Northern neighbors at Cuyahoga National Park may be envious of Hot Springs National Park, down South in the Natural State of Arkansas. So if you’re looking for a National Park to visit on April 8th, there are only 2 in The Path of Totality and Hot Springs National Park, known for its thermal waters, may be your best bet.


Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas goes by many names; the Spa City, the Valley of the Vapors, Hot Water Hills, and America’s First Resort. No matter what name you call it, Hot Springs has always been a City of Visitors who come for the thermal water baths, the three lakes, the horse racing, the history, the culinary scene, exciting attractions, and the natural beauty of the Ouachita Mountains. The city plays host to over 9 million visitors a year. An incredible number for a town of less than 40,000 people. The visitors choose from campgrounds, Airbnb's, bed & breakfasts, and nearly 4000 hotel rooms. Hot Springs is equipped to host 365 days a year. Pro-tip! If you’re booking for eclipse weekend it’s best to call for availability as most hotels have minimum stay guidelines between April 4-8, 2024. There are rooms still available.


You know you have something special happening when NASA calls and asks to spend a week in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas for the eclipse. A dozen scientists from NASA, NOAA and Earth to Sky will be offering free programming leading up to the eclipse. Catch them at Bridge Street LIVE on Thursday, April 4 and at various locations leading up to April 8th.


While anywhere in Hot Springs, Arkansas with an unobstructed view is ideal for viewing the eclipse, I have narrowed down my eight top spots for witnessing the celestial event.

1. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas has 26 miles of hiking trails throughout the park. The overlooks on North Mountain, West Mountain, and the Arlington Lawn will all be popular locations for eclipse watching. Know that both North and West Mountains will be closed to vehicle traffic on Sunday, April 7th and Monday, April 8th, this includes access to the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, so you'll need to hike up the mountain or take the free shuttle. Hot Springs National Park is also hosting a dozen scientists from NASA and the NOAA, who will be offering free educational programming during the week. A good place to catch NASA will be on the Arlington Lawn adjacent to historic Bathhouse Row at the corner of Central and Fountain Street.

2. Lake Ouachita Just West of Hot Springs, Lake Ouachita in Arkansas largest lake and arguably the cleanest too. Explore 40,000 acres of water that are popular for fishing, boating, and swimming. The lake also has over 200 islands to explore and camp on. Yes, camp on your own island and watch the eclipse - amazing!

3. Lake Catherine The smallest of the three lakes near Hot Springs, Arkansas, Lake Catherine is a quaint get-away that is home to Lake Catherine State Park.

4. Lake Hamilton This is the most popular lake in Hot Springs, Lake Hamilton is always busy with boaters; party barges, bass boats, and jet skis. We are expecting large crowds on the waters during the eclipse.

5. Northwoods Mountain biking reigns supreme at Northwoods Trails, but trail runners and hikers call it their playground too. The 32+ mile trail system includes three small lakes; Lake Bethel, Lake Dillon, and Lake Sanders. I can imagine a quiet cozy spot on the shore to set back, relax and take in totality.

6. Entergy Park This just might be the sweetest little park in Hot Springs with a duck pond, kids playground, hiking trails, and fishing piers on Lake Hamilton.

7. Family Park Just across the street from Hot Springs Memorial Field, Family Park has plenty of parking, a fish pond, playground and a large field to roll out a blanket, pop open a picnic basket, drop on your eclipse glasses and take in the moment.

8. Your house This one is for the locals. If you're lucky enough to have the day off from school or work, I recommend your very own backyard as the best place to watch the eclipse. You’ll have all of the comforts of home, without the traffic congestion we are all expecting. Pro-Tip: pajamas!


1. Bridge St. LIVE! Eclipse Edition, Thursday, April 4th - 5PM -10PM. Hot Springs kicks off eclipse weekend with a block party on Bridge Street. The free event is open to all ages, and will feature live musical performances by blues powerhouse, Nikki Hill, and some good old bluegrass music courtesy of the Gravel Yard Bluegrass Band. NASA scientists will also be offering educational programming at 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00. Food trucks, beer tents, craft vendors and bounce houses for the kids will also be on hand. For more information about Bridge Street LIVE Eclipse Edition call 501-321-2277 or

2. Ecliptic, April 5 - 8 Atlas Obscura and Low Key Arts present Ecliptic, a celebration of the 20th annual Valley of the Vapors Music Festival. Keeping in tune with the festival's history, Ecliptic promises a diverse line-up of innovative music, art, and speakers. Angel Olson, Deerhoof, Shannon & The Clams, The Sun Ra ArkestRA, and Blonde Redhead bring some cosmic tunes. Craig Colorusso, Bethannie Newsom Steelman, and Quintron bring art, wonder, and innovation. Speakers include; Adam Savage (Mythbusters) and Fred Armisen (Portlandia/SNL). Ecliptic offers glamping with furnished tents for those who want to keep their bed off the ground. There's also room if you want to bring your own tent. The event peaks with the Monday afternoon's solar eclipse. Expect food trucks, beer trucks and a cosmic good time at Cedar Glades Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Tickets on sale now at

3. Garvan Woodland Gardens Hot Springs' very own botanical garden known for the Bob and Sunny Evans 3-story treehouse, Anthony Chapel, Tulip Extravaganza, and the ever so popular George the Peacock will be the site of one of the most beautiful and serene locations to view the eclipse on April 8th. Limited VIP tickets are available at

4. Mid-America Science Museum Designated as a premier viewing site by The Great North American Solar Eclipse, Mid-America Science Museum should be on the top of your list if you want a hands-on interactive science experience. Tickets to the museum include access to all the interior and exterior exhibits, digital dome screenings, and eclipse glasses. Mid-America is the epicenter of scientific exploration during the remarkable eclipse event. Tickets on sale now at

5. Oaklawn The infield at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort will be open for a very special eclipse viewing event. Expect food, beer tents, and live music; all of which can be enjoyed picnic-style on your very own blanket or lawn chair. The casino will also be open, as well as a variety of restaurants, the Astral Spa , and the hotel. Info at Tickets on sale now at

6. Hot Springs National Park With over 26 miles of hiking trails, you are sure to find a quiet spot to view the eclipse in Hot Springs National Park. If you’re thinking about Goat Rock or Balanced Rock, I'd get there early. If you want to be close to all of the restaurants and shops, try the Arlington Lawn at the North end of Bathhouse Row in historic downtown Hot Springs.

7. Ron Coleman Mining Combine the thrill of zip-lining, the anticipation of crystal digging, live music, and camping at Ron Coleman Mining. The three day event culminating with the eclipse is sure to keep the entire family entertained, located just outside Hot Springs in Jessieville, Arkansas. Tickets on sale now at


A solar eclipse passing overhead isn’t something that you can see everyday, every year, or every decade. In fact, Arkansas will not see a solar eclipse until 2044, that’s 20 years from now! A lot can happen in 20 years, so best not miss the opportunity to witness a truly breathtaking celestial event of a lifetime. Enjoy!

Bill Solleder serves as Director of Marketing for Visit Hot Springs. Twenty-one years ago while on vacation from Chicago to Hot Springs National Park, he toured a home that was for sale in a historic part of town. It was love at first sight, and that house is the home Solleder lives in today. You can often find him presenting about the upcoming eclipse to community organizations and conferences. Outside of work, Bill can be seen riding his mountain bike at Northwoods Trails in Hot Springs.

Featured Listings

Garvan Woodland Gardens

501-262-9300 | 550 Arkridge Road 71903

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

800-625-5296 | 2705 Central Avenue 71901

Mid-America Science Museum

501.767.3461 | 500 Mid-America Blvd. 71913