Buffalo National River
Guide

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Introduction

America's first national river, Buffalo National River in Arkansas, which was established in 1972, is a premier destination for memorable RV camping experiences. Buffalo River, which flows freely for 135 miles is one of the last remaining undammed rivers in the US, and provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities for RV campers and visitors. The beautiful landscapes in the park are wonderful too.

As soon as you arrive at Buffalo National River, you can begin your journey either on the running rapids in the park or at the quiet pools that are surrounded by massive bluffs. Floating is in fact a popular activity on the park’s waters. You could also decide to hike any of the trails in the park, and bring your pets along on some of the trails. Additionally, with the appropriate license, the park is open for sport hunting. Angling enthusiasts can enjoy fishing for smallmouth bass in the Buffalo River. Horseback riding, an age-long activity in the area, is also another way for you to explore the park. As the sun sets in the park, with it comes beautiful night sky viewing opportunities. Rest assured your time at the park will be glorious.

There are various camping options available at Buffalo National River, including group camping, tent camping, backcountry camping, and RV camping. Four campgrounds in the park can accommodate RVs and trailers, with one of these campgrounds equipped with electric and water hookups.

Park Alerts (7)

[Park Closure] Closure in effect for Pruitt Bridge construction [+ Info]

Except for paddling and equestrian thru-traffic, the Buffalo River and its banks from the Pruitt Bridge to the edge of the cleared construction area is closed until further notice in order to protect park visitors and construction staff and equipment.

[Park Closure] Erbie Area Road Closures

The Buffalo River low-water crossing on the Erbie Campground Road and the Cove Creek low-water crossing on Newton County Road 2900 are closed for construction beginning the week of September 30, 2019.

[Park Closure] Compton-Erbie Road Closure

Compton-Erbie Rd. (County Road 2700) will close in December for repairs from the Schermerhorn/Hideout Hollow Trailhead to Erbie Horse Camp access. Projected completion: spring 2020.

[Information] Statewide quarantine for firewood. [+ Info]

Arkansas Agriculture Department’s State Plant Board (ASPB) has approved a statewide quarantine which covers firewood of all hardwood species.

[Information] Limited Amenities Available in Campgrounds

Most campground amenities will close on November 15 for the season. Campgrounds will remain open through the winter, but flush restrooms, showers, drinking water, and electricity will be unavailable. It is free to camp, primitively, until March 13, 2020.

[Park Closure] Steel Creek Boat Launch Restroom Closed

Due to a water leak, flush toilets at Steel Creek are temporarily shut down for repairs beginning Friday, December 6, 2019. Projected reopening: Wednesday, December 11. A vault toilet is available in the Steel Creek tent campground.

[Information] Low-Level Flights to Image 3D Geology in Northern Arkansas [+ Info]

The new geophysical survey will allow the USGS to create high-resolution 3D representations of geology to depths several miles below the surface.Maps produced will help understand the distribution of groundwater & other resources.

RV Rentals in Buffalo National River

Transportation in Buffalo National River

Driving

Buffalo National River, located southeast of Harrison, Arkansas, is easy to access by RVs, trailers, and other vehicles, owing to the fact that the park is crossed by three main highways (Highways 7, 43, and 65). The park can also be accessed along various points by the length of the river on unpaved, and sometimes rocky roads. The use of four-wheel drive vehicles and/or high clearance vehicles is recommended.

Parking

There are vehicle and RV parking spaces available at Buffalo National River. Overnight parking is also available.

Public Transport

There are no direct public transportation services to Buffalo National River.

Campgrounds and parking in Buffalo National River

Campsites in Buffalo National River

Reservations camping

Tyler Bend Campground

Tyler Bend Campground in Buffalo National River features 38 pet-friendly campsites available both on a first-come, first-served basis, and by reservations. Tent camping, group camping, and RV camping options are available within the campground. RVs up to 35 feet can be accommodated.

There are no RV hookups in the Tyler Bend Campground. However, the campground features picnic tables, drinking water, fire grates, showers, and flush toilets. Trails are also available near the campground.

Buffalo Point Campground

Buffalo Point Campground consists of 104 pet-friendly campsites within various loops that are available both by reservation and on a first-come, first-served basis. There are provisions in the campground for tents, group camps, and RV camps that can accommodate RVs up to 65 feet. Electric and water hookups for RVs are available in the campground.

Drinking water, pavilions, picnic tables, fire grates, and lantern hooks are some of the amenities in the campground. You’ll also find flush restrooms, hot showers, and a trailer dump station here.

First-come first-served

Ozark Campground

Ozark Campground in Buffalo National Park has 31 pet-friendly campsites, all available on a first-come, first served basis. There are no RV hookups in the campground, but campsites can accommodate RVs/trailers up to 35 feet.

Fire rings, picnic tables, lantern hooks, trash cans ,and vault toilets can be found here.

Erbie Campground

Erbie Campground in Buffalo National Park has 14 drive-in campsites and 2 walk-in campsites, all available on a first-come, first served basis. There are no RV hookups in the campground, but campsites can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet.

Fire rings, picnic tables, and vault toilets are available within the campground. Group sites are also available.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Buffalo National River

Spring

Floating

As a river that flows freely for 135 miles, Buffalo National River is a wonderful place for RV campers and visitors to enjoy floating during float season in spring. The waters in the upper Buffalo make the region attractive and challenging for floaters and whitewater kayakers.

Since rainfall varies through the year, the parts of the river suitable for floating change, because the river is rainfall dependent. This is why the Middle and Lower Districts are more suitable for floating during dry periods. To be on the safe side, check the river levels before launching.

Summer

Night Sky Viewing

A visit to Buffalo National River means you get to enjoy the park’s Natural Night Skies. In a bid to make this experience more immersive for RV campers and visitors, the park adopts responsible outdoor lighting practices that protect the naturally dark skies.

Renew your spirit, commune with nature, and find solitude while you view the skies at Buffalo National River, particularly as the forests and free-flowing waters in the park keep you company.

Fishing

At least 59 different fish species call Buffalo National River their home. Included in this list are 12 species of game fish.

RV campers that enjoy angling have for a long time found Buffalo River to be a favored destination for smallmouth bass fishing. Brown trout and rainbow trout are also equally caught by fishing enthusiasts in the cold tailwaters of the White River, around where it meets the Buffalo River.

The fishing method allowed for use throughout Buffalo National River is by hook and line, with rod or line being another alternative. Gigging, bowfishing, noodling, and snagging are also permitted.

Fall

Hunting

Because Buffalo National River is an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Management Area, there is room for sport hunting activities for visitors. The hunting activities in the park are balanced with continuous efforts to maintain and restore the natural environments that ensure that wildlife thrive in the park.

For anyone to be able to hunt at the park, an appropriate license from Arkansas Game & Fish Commission is required. Hunting is only permitted in hunting seasons.

Hiking

Buffalo National River features a dense network of trails that connect the entire park and the Buffalo River, providing more than enough room for RV campers that fancy hiking. The trails also offer the chance to split off onto smaller trails where you can observe the human and natural history of the region.

Some of the trails in the park are pet-friendly, especially the three Buffalo Point Campground trails and Tyler Bend Campground trails. So, RV campers and visitors can bring their pets along as they take walks among the scenic views.

Winter

Horseback Riding

For a long time, equestrians have enjoyed amazing experiences at Buffalo National River. Right from the time of the early settlers in the area, horses and mules have been commonly used in the area both for recreational purposes and commercial purposes. As a result, RV campers who enjoy horseback riding will find that Buffalo National River, with its extensive equestrian trails, is the perfect place for memorable riding adventures. More than 75 miles of equestrian trails are available in the park.

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