Hot Springs National Park High Point Trip Report

Music Mtn (1,400+ ft)

Date: June 12, 1991
Author: Fred Lobdell

I'm doing this one from memory, as I didn't write a trip report at the time. The date is probably early enough that I can claim a First Ascent, at least among members of our group.

The way I did it is almost certainly not the most efficient way of doing this one, but besides getting to the HP of the NP I also wanted to do a bit of a hike, rather than just the shortest route.

From the intersection of US 70 and AR 7 in the center of Hot Springs, drive north on AR 7 (Central Avenue). Turn left (southwest) on Whittington Avenue and drive about a mile to the loop at the end of the street. Go around the loop and come back about a half mile to the trailhead for the Mountain Top Trail. Park here.

The Mountain Top trail ascends moderately steeply for about 0.3 miles to its intersection with the West Mountain Trail. Turn right and take the latter another quarter mile or so to the Sunset Trail. Turn right (west) and follow this ridgeline trail with its moderate grades about 2 miles to where it passes over the southwest shoulder of Music Mtn.

From here it is a short and easy bushwhack to your right (northeast) through waist-high grass to the summit.

After you return to the Sunset Trail you may return the way you came, or make a loop hike out of it by turning right and continuing another three-quarters of a mile to where the trail crosses Black Snake Road. You can turn right here and have a road walk of about 2 miles back to your car.

If all you're after is to bag this HP in the easiest fashion, then you could probably drive out Black Snake Road and park where the Sunset Trail crosses the road, although I must confess that I don't remember anything about the parking situation there.

I should offer one cautionary note. I said above that it is a short and easy bushwhack to the summit of Music Mtn., and it is ... mostly. But I failed to wash myself thoroughly upon my return, and I awoke the next morning to a handsome set of chigger bites on my chest and belly that took 6 months to fully fade from view. In fact, I have never hiked in Arkansas in the summer without getting at least a couple of those irritating bites.