Sunset Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Hot Springs National Park, AR that features hot springs and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Hot and humid. I picked a bad day. Saw a snake. Found 5 lone star ticks on my legs. Haven't died yet. Good views outside the woods. Crosses many roads without traffic control.
Great trail. Nice breezy woods. Not too many vistas. Pay attention as the app has you cut through Hot Springs town to make the loop (neighborhood dogs were dicey).
Long, relaxing, peaceful forested walk through Hot Springs NP. Hiking the whole loop takes you briefly through the town and is about 14 miles (not 5) of hiking - be prepared! This trail is not stunning or breathtaking, but is very pleasant. The "strenuous" rating is really just for the length of this trail - it is not steep or uneven.
Enjoyed this trail. Well maintained and easily followed. Used this application to follow trail. We were short on daylight so we were unable to finish all the trail system. Good elevations. Wish we had trails like this directly outside of my hometown. Would definitely do again.
I didn't do the loop as such. I parked close to the Mnt top trl, W. Mnt dr & Prospect ave, and went up intersecting the sunset trl less than 1/8 mi W of West Mnt Overlook Drive trailhead. West mnt, Music mnt, Sugarloaf mnt, balanced rock spur to the Fordyce Peaks spur down to Stonebridge road. from there it's 1.2 mi to shell station and western most IT bus stop. A buck and a quarter gets me to the depot and free transfer to route 2 bus and back towards my auto. For comparrison I called the yellow & HS taxi cabs, they're the same though different name, and was quoted 10 clams for a 9/10 mi. ride that I scrapped.
Some nice switchback pulls up grade mixed in w/undulating straight trls. Well marked w/milage signs though there are a few spots that you need to watch on the woolier east side of Cedar Glades rd. 12 mi counting the hike into town.
Parking downtown is free on weekends. Park close to Fountain & Central and hike up Cedar to Cedar Glades and the Sunset trl crossing. There's a gravel pad there to park, but it's remote & I didn't wish to leave the auto there for any length of time. You can hike west back to Mnt top trl/West Mnt trl/Canyon trl/Central Ave to car or Mnt rop to Whittington Ave to Central. You're getting the best and don't need a taxi/bus or parking fees.
Fordyce Bath House is the Park Visitor Center/Museum and you need their free HS Nat park map. Right down the road at Spring & Central is the HS city visitor center. Bus schedules and hiking maps of all the other trls.
when I did this trail i combined several of the trails in hot springs.
I started by parking at gulpha gorge, it had just stopped raining and i couldn't cross the creek so up over the bridge then picked up the trail. So gulpha gorge trail to dead chief trail. dead chief to the promenade. Cross central and picked up west mountain trail. Up the trail to mountain top trail then up to the top of west mountain where it crossed sunset. Then across music mountain, the highest point, then over to sugarloaf mountain. Be sure to take the balancing rock spur worth the short trek. then on around to the pond and the old mill on hwy 128, cross hwy 7 pick up the trail behind the gulpha gorge sign . back to the park, all in all about 15 miles. Beautiful views.
Mostly easy trail with some beautiful views. After mile 5, the trail is not marked, and there are several pathways, so it's easy to lose the trail.
Very nice trail. Great views
Its a nice way to kill some time on a weekend. There are great views of Hot Springs from up there and it is generally not crowded. There are several trails that crisscross each other, so its kinda easy to get turned around but its still worth checking out.
This is a great trail in Hot Springs