If your looking for somewhere to hike around Hot Springs National Park, this spot isn't the best. But, if you need to kill 2 hours and want to go to the highest spot in the park to sign the register, follow these directions. There is also a benchmark. Actually, this trail is only a portion of the biggest trail in the park so you could easily continue on to make the hike more interesting. The Sunset Loop trail crosses 3 mountains, much of the park and goes right through town in places to complete the loop. The part of the trail that reaches the highpoint only requires a one mile one way hike with an elevation gain of around 450 feet. If you can get dropped off at the trailhead, you could even walk back into town making a nice one way trip.
Music Mountain (West Mountain), Hot Springs National Park Highpoint
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Driving north on Central Avenue past the bathhouses, look for a left on Whittington Avenue. Follow it 2 miles or so and it becomes Black Snake Road. Continue about another mile as it climbs to a small pass with a sign saying "Dangerous Intersection". There is a pullout and trailhead on the left (south) side of the road.
From the parking area, go around the gate hiking up an old 4WD road. There are a few glimpses here and there of views but overall, it's all forest. The trail will switchback a few times but generally stays on the gentle northeast ridge. After a mile, the trail will begin to descend a bit. Look for a rock cairn on the ground and a old sign just beyond. From this spot, you must leave the trail for 5 minutes walking through the woods to the left until you reach the highest point. It's pretty flat on top but you can find it with a good eye.
Music Mountain from Hot Springs Mountain Tower
The cairn where you leave the trail near the summit
The summit benchmark
Sunset Trail trailhead along Black Snake Road
The trail near the summit
Route follows this ridge