Among other things, Music Mountain is the highest point in Hot Springs National Park. Historically, this point was known as the true summit of West Mountain, however, the USGS maps currently distinguish between the two. People hiking the park's Sunset Trail often pass within yards of the summit, however, few actually venture through the brush to the forested summit. Music Mountain can be climbed as a short day-hike from Black Snake Road / Whittington Avenue.
Congress established Hot Springs Reservation on April 20, 1832 to protect hot springs flowing from the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain. This makes it the oldest area currently in the National Park System--40 years older than Yellowstone National Park. People have used the hot spring water in therapeutic baths for more than two hundred years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. The reservation eventually developed into a well-known resort nicknamed "The American Spa" because it attracted not only the wealthy but also indigent health seekers from around the world. Today the park protects eight historic bathhouses with the former luxurious Fordyce Bathhouse housing the park visitor center. The entire "Bathhouse Row" area is a National Historic Landmark District that contains the grandest collection of bathhouses of its kind in North America. By protecting the 47 hot springs and their watershed, the National Park Service continues to provide visitors with historic leisure activities such as hiking, picnicking, and scenic drives. Hot Springs Reservation became Hot Springs National Park by a Congressional name change on March 4, 1921.
To reach the trailhead, drive north on AR-7 through downtown Hot Springs. Turn left (west) onto Whittington Ave. and drive ~2.0 mi where the road becomes Black Snake Rd. Continue ~0.8 mi to the crest of the road at the trailhed labelled as "Dangerous Intersection". Pull off to the left (south) and find a spot at the small trailhead.
The park and Gulpha Gorge Campground are open year round. The visitor center is open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Summer hours may be extended. The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1. Dogs are permitted within Hot Springs National Park provided that they are on a leash at all times.
When To Climb
Music Mountain can be climbed year-round. During the winter, an occasional ice storm might present road hazards on Black Snake Road.
Taken from the Hot Springs National Park website:
Camping is available at Gulpha Gorge Campground for $10.00 per night($5.00 with a Golden Age or Golden Access card.) Sites are available on a first come, first served basis. No reservations can be taken. Campsites have a picnic table, pedistal grill, and water nearby. While there are no showers or hookups, there are modern restrooms. Water is available at several stations throughout the campground most of the year and at the dump station. Quiet hours are 10:00 p.m.-6:00 a.m. Pets are allowed if leashed. Please pick up animal waste. Campgrounds with more amenities are available in the surrounding area. For more information on camping and backpacking in the Ouachita National Forest, camping at Lake Ouachita, Corps of Engineers, and Arkansas State Parks go to the links section.