The best fall foliage in Hot Springs Arkansas

a fall tree displaying vibrant hues of oranges and yellows

When the calendar flips to September, we all start thinking about cooler weather, pumpkin spice, and fall colors.  It’s also a great time to plan a Hot Springs fall getaway!   Did you know that only a few regions in the Northern Hemisphere enjoy brilliant fall foliage like Arkansas?  While it’s never easy to predict such things, the best fall foliage in our area usually happens in early to mid-November.  There are numerous places to view the foliage, so we’ll share a few of our favorites.

  • The Hot Springs Mountain Tower has 360-degree views of Hot Springs National Park and much of Hot Springs.  You can choose to hike the Peak Trail, which starts behind historic Bathhouse Row, or drive up Hot Springs Mountain Drive to reach the tower – and yes, the tower has an elevator!  You can also make the short drive up West Mountain to see similar views from the opposite side of the park (and watch planes take off & land at Hot Springs Memorial Field). 
  • Hickory Nut Mountain Vista is a short drive west of Hot Springs on Highway 270, with beautiful panoramic views of Lake Ouachita.  It is the highest point above the lake’s shoreline(about 1000 ft).  Be aware that the 4-mile road up to the overlook is trees in green, brown & rust at the edge of a lakeunpaved. 
  • DeGray Lake State Park has several spots to view the fall colors. The Caddo Bend day use area offers views across the lake such as the one featured on the right.  Another favorite spot for our guests is the Shouse Ford beach and picnic area.  This is a perfect spot to have a quiet picnic, watch for migrating birds, and catch a sunset. 
  • If you have time for a day trip, Mount Magazine State Park is about 2 1/2 hours away, via Arkansas Scenic Highway 7.  Have lunch in the lodge restaurant overlooking Petit Jean River Valley, and then take a short hike to the highest point in Arkansas.  Spend the afternoon hiking some of the other trails in the park and be sure to visit Cameron Bluff Overlook before making the drive back. 
  • Another easy day trip is Queen Wilhelmina State Park atop Rich Mountain, Arkansas’s second highest peak.  This drive is also about 2 1/2 hours, and will take you up the Talimena Scenic Drive.  The lodge restaurant sits atop Rich Mountain, and provides excellent views during lunch.

Of course if you don’t want to spend your vacation driving, one of our favorite places to view the fall colors is from our front porch swing!  Bob’s Japanese maple trees show off their spectacular colors this time of year, and are located all around the the house.  Each of our guest rooms also has a wonderful view, whether it’s the tree-top view from the king-size bed in The Ouachita, the private deck off The Hamilton, or the window seat view in The DeGray.  

We’ve just been named one of the Most Romantic Hot Springs Getaways, so we want to give you a chance to enjoy your stay even longer!  Our Fall Romantic Getaway offers 3 nights in the room of your choice, breakfast at Tiffany’s each morning, and 2 complimentary tickets to Garvan Woodland Gardens.  Take time  to explore our 60 acres of woodlands, relax on our front porch swing, or just enjoy some quiet time together without the distractions of every day life.  Reserve your fall getaway now, and join us for “nature’s grand finale”!

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