Sunset Trail

HARD 69 reviews
#1 of 15 trails in

Sunset Trail is a 13 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas 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.

DISTANCE
13.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,372 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

hot springs

views

wild flowers

hiking
1 month ago

Difficult trail, tons of steep climbing and switchbacks. No really pretty scenic views, but the trail itself is pretty.

hiking
3 months ago

I give it a 4 star for the area. It lacks super scenic views, but is still a very pretty hike with a variety of landscapes to see. It does have some pretty good climbs and this can be a challenge for those not in hiking shape, both from the distance and a handful of the climbs.

Be careful of ticks, both my dog and I picked up quite a few, likely due to some of the grassy areas you walk through.

I stopped here passing through on my way back to Colorado and thoroughly enjoyed the hike overall!

It is mostly well-marked, but I used this AllTrails recording because there are a few spots where it isn't very clear where you are supposed to go without it, and it isn't all "technically" the Sunset Trail. That ends somewhere around West Mountain Drive and then you pick up other trails from there back to the Gulpha Gorge Campground.

hiking
4 months ago

First 2/3 of the trail is great and well marked. It gets increasingly more confusing as you near the end. You will walk through downtown so be prepared for that... everyone looks at ya funny if ur sweaty, but it’s kinda a right of passage. Balanced rock (done on this recording) is easy to miss. The summit wasn’t that impressive, but worth the small additional hike. I didn’t do the goat overlook because

trail running
5 months ago

Coming from West Monroe Louisiana, this is as good as it gets in my book. About 4 hours from home, solid climbs, rocky descents, and the perfect distance to refuel back at the car for another loop. Well marked in most places but has a few trails that come together close to the Gorge, just adds a little variety!!
My favorite training spot so far when I can make the trip!

8 months ago

Beautiful!! Especially in the fall!

9 months ago

This is a very nice trail, and a long one at that.

9 months ago

Please remove mountain biking from use options. I rode here and got yelled at by some trail nazi.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Great trail. Tough initial incline but it levels off. Balanced Rock in a nice overlook. Beware of chiggers in Summer months.

hiking
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Although this is the longest and most difficult rated trek in the park, it proves that Hot Springs National Park isn't a hiker's delight. The scenery is pretty redundant with many signs of vandalism where the trail crosses over multiple roads. Do it if you're Jonesin for a hike, but you're better off enjoying the baths in town instead.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Great trail. But overlaps with others and is not properly marked.... great to get in shape on

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Maybe we got lost somehow but this trail was not easy to follow and certainly wasn't a "loop" by my standards. we ran out of trail markers at a street next to a creek. We ended up walking/carrying our dogs next to a very busy local highway, then through a neighborhood, briefly through a shopping district, then up the side of the road that side of the West mountain where we had parked our car at the trail head. The map on my watch matched the shape of the trail map on this site. It was a very long walk, and we weren't expecting to be walking downtown in our dorky hiking gear with our dogs.

hiking
Monday, October 31, 2016

Very interesting walk in town and forest with some very historical buildings.

Monday, October 24, 2016

So many miles of gorgeous trails spiderwebbing right through town!

hiking
Thursday, July 07, 2016

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.

hiking
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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).

hiking
Monday, April 04, 2016

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.

hiking
Friday, October 23, 2015

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.

hiking
Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Hot Springs National Park is the smallest National Park but don't let that stop you from hiking their trails. I suggest you start at the visitor center to get a map of the park and, while you are there, tour the bathhouse the visitor center is located in (I liked the third floor the best). There are a number of trails you can take but if you want a nice 3.2 mile hike with some hills I suggest you take the Dead Chief Trail to the Gulpha Gorge Trail which will then meet up with the Upper and then Lower Dogwood Trail. This combination of trails took me a little over an hour to hike and deposited me onto the 5th floor of the Arlington Hotel which was an interesting way to end a hike.

hiking
Tuesday, June 09, 2015

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.

hiking
Monday, June 08, 2015

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.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

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.

hiking
Sunday, August 03, 2014

If you want to hike, or see hot springs come out of the ground, this place is mostly a waste of time.

walking
Sunday, September 23, 2012

when I lived here it was right down the road. walked it nearly everyday. beautiful view as well

hiking
Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Hot Springs National Park looks fairly small on a map, especially when compared to nearby Ouachita National Forest, but there are actually a fair amount of trails here.

The park is bisected by Central Ave (7) which also seems to be the main street for Hot Springs where you can grab something to eat, some tourist T-shirts or visit the bath houses and spas. It was interesting to see the local museum which preserved an old bath house.

When are finished with all the site seeing in town, you can head up to the Hot Springs Mountain Tower which has pretty good views of the surrounding area. There is a road if you would like to take the easy way out, or you can hike it along multiple trails. I took the Floral Trail to the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. On the way back I took Short Cut Trail. I was told it was originally meant to be a horse trail that went straight into town. The quick hike was fairly easy with the only difficult part being Short Cut, which got a little steep in some parts and I lost my (untrained) footing.

If you are within a days drive of Hot Springs, I would recommend it as a three day weekend or even a stop on a longer journey for a couple of days

hiking
Monday, July 16, 2012

Very nice trail. Great views

scenic driving
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This drive takes you through the national park that surrounds 19th century resort city renowned for natural mineral springs and curative waters. The tour begins at bathhouse row, line of elegant, restored establishments built to cater to health seekers. Hot Springs mountain drive accesses 216 foot high observation tower offering views of zig zag mountanins. Returning to hwy 7, tour continues to west mountain drive. Ascent to summit features rock outcroppings of novaculite and scenic over looks. Route is SR7, to hot springs mountain drive to fountain street, back to sr 7 to whittington ave, to west mountain drive and finish with summit drive.

hiking
Friday, January 13, 2012

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.

hiking
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This is a great trail in Hot Springs

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

Load More