Hot Springs Healing Powers
The thermal waters of Hot Springs, Arkansas are legendary both for their unique beauty, and medicinal value. Native Americans and early settlers are said to have flocked to the area to discover the mystical healing power of water in Hot Springs.
At 143-degrees, the natural springs produce almost one-million gallons of water each day. Where does it come from? It is an approximately 4,000 year old journey that begins as rainwater in the Ouachita Mountain range.
Rain falls within the Ouachita Mountain Valley where it slowly soaks through the soil, and after thousands of years, reaches deep layers of the earth. At around 7,000 ft below the surface, the water heats and compresses before gravity causes it to rush to the surface and escape through 47 springs on the west side of Hot Springs Mountain.
It’s hard to tell exactly how long humans have been visiting the springs. Spanish and French settlers had each claimed the area early on in the 1500’s, 1600’s and 1700’s. In fact, famous explorer Hernando DeSoto was the first European to visit Hot Springs in 1541.
Native Americans are also known to have enjoyed the hot springs healing powers for centuries; they called the area “the Valley of the Vapors.” Hot Springs is said to have been a peaceful territory where all tribes came to enjoy the natural healing baths. At one time the Caddo, Quapaw and Choctaw Native American tribes all inhabited the territory.
The healing baths of Hot Springs were such a coveted natural wonder that, in 1832, Congress granted federal protection to the area, naming it the Hot Springs Reservation. In 1921, it was renamed Hot Springs National Park.
Today, the healing waters are pumped into several downtown hotels and spas, and the water is even available at city fountains, drawing thousands of visitors each year who seek the healing power of water in Hot Springs.