Hot Springs, city (1990 pop. 32,462), seat of Garland co., W central Ark.; settled 1807, inc. 1876. The city nearly surrounds Hot Springs National Park, whose hot mineral springs made the city a famous health resort. Bottled mineral water is produced, and there is diversified manufacturing. Situated in the Ouachita Mts., the city is at the center of the reservoir system of the Ouachita River. The area was visited by the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto in 1541. The properties of the local mineral waters were investigated in 1804 under the authorization of President Thomas Jefferson.