Soaring 216 feet above the tree line on scenic Hot Springs Mountain is an iconic observation tower offering panoramic views of “The Spa City” and the Ouachita Mountains beyond. Known as the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, this popular attraction has become a landmark for sightseers.
Yet it wasn’t the first tower erected on the mountain’s summit. Back in the late 1800s, a 75-foot wooden lookout platform stood tall before meeting an untimely demise by fire after being struck by lightning. Its replacement came in 1906 using the steel frame of the telegraph tower from the historic 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Nicknamed the Rix Tower, it remained standing for nearly 70 years until safety concerns forced its demolition in 1975.
Today’s Hot Springs Mountain Tower was constructed with sturdy lattice steel and officially opened to visitors in June 1983. Eight stories of stairs and elevators whisk sightseers up to an open-air observation deck showcasing a breathtaking 360° panorama of the surrounding Ouachita National Forest. The sweeping vistas reveal Lake Hamilton sparkling in the valley below while Garvan Woodland Gardens and majestic mountains fill the horizon on all sides.
Back at the tower’s base lies a gift shop stocked with local souvenirs. Guests can also relax at the on-site visitor center or hike some of the area’s picturesque woodland trails starting just outside the tower entrance. Thanks to its lofty vantage overlooking the southern Ozarks, the Hot Springs Mountain Tower now carries on a century-old tradition of welcoming tourists to soak up the splendid natural scenery only found in Arkansas’ famed resort town.
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