Buffalo National River

Buffalo National River

Quick Facts

Buffalo National River

Arkansas

(870) 439-2502

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Buffalo River is one of the few remaining unpolluted, free-flowing rivers in the lower 48 states offering both swift-running and placid stretches. The Buffalo National River encompasses 135 miles of the 150-mile long river. It begins as a trickle in the Boston Mountains 15 miles above the park boundary. Following what is likely an ancient riverbed, the Buffalo cuts its way through massive limestone bluffs traveling eastward through the Ozarks and into the White River. The national river has three designated wilderness areas within its boundaries.

Headquarters is located in Harrison, Arkansas, providing administrative services to the national river. The Tyler Bend Visitor Center, the main visitor center for the park, is located 11 miles north of Marshall, Arkansas. The park has two other visitor contact stations; the Pruitt Ranger Station, located five miles north of Jasper, Arkansas on Highway 7, and Buffalo Point Ranger Station, located 17 miles south of Yellville, Arkansas, on Highway 14.

A trip to Buffalo National River offers a diverse array of activities. Most visitors come to float the river by canoe, tube, or kayak. While others may choose hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, visiting historic districts, and bird-watching. Whether you prefer being on the river, exploring other areas of the park, or attending ranger lead programs, you can always find something to your liking.

Map of Buffalo River

Latitude, Longitude: 36.068805, -92.578354

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Activities

  • Boating

    Most visitors come to float the river by canoe, tube, or kayak. Numerous access points are located along the river, making access easy.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Visitors can drive along the length of the river, visiting historic homesteads and prehistoric sites along the way. The Tyler Bend Visitor Center has exhibits on the history of the Buffalo River as well as the flora and fauna.

  • Camping

    Two improved campgrounds and ten primitive campgrounds are located along the river. Campers who desire a more primitive experience may camp anywhere within the park if at least one half mile from any developed area. A backcountry permit is not required. Camping is not permitted, however, in or near historic sites and buildings, in hayfields or pastures, or on private land or abandoned buildings.

  • Fishing

    There are 74 species of fish found in the Buffalo River. However, only a handful are considered game fish: Smallmouth bass, catfish, and sunfish are sought by most anglers.

  • Hiking

    There are over 100 miles of maintained trails within Buffalo National River. Hiking is a very popular activity at all times, but especially in the cooler months from November to March.

  • Horseback Riding

    One of the many ways to enjoy the Buffalo River is by horse. Designated trails for horseback riding are located in all districts of the national river. Numerous old roads, now closed to motor vehicles, provide riding opportunities for those willing to explore without the benefit of trail signs.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is allowed in the park in accordance with Arkansas state regulations. No hunting in campgrounds, developed areas, or shooting over the river or trails.

  • Picnicking

    Have a picnic along the banks of the Buffalo River. Several group pavilions are available for rent as well.

  • Water Sports

    Most visitors come to float the river by canoe, tube, or kayak. The Buffalo National River encompasses 135 miles of the 150-mile long river, and offers visitors both swift-running and placid stretches. Numerous access points are located along the river.

Seasonality/Weather

Some facilities may be closed or have limited operating hours during the winter months. Please call in advance to be sure the facility is open.

Directions

Driving

Buffalo National River is a long, narrow park that is crossed by three main highways. Using Harrison as a starting point: To reach the Upper District (Jasper or Ponca AR area), visitors travel south from Harrison on Highway 7, or Highway 43; To reach the Middle District (Tyler Bend area), visitors travel 31 miles south of Harrison on Highway 65; To reach the Lower District (Buffalo Point area), visitors take Highway 65 south from Harrison for five miles, then take Highway 62/412 to the east to Yellville, and Highway 14 south. GPS is very unreliable in this area. Such systems have sent numerous visitors in the wrong direction and onto dirt roads. Please refer to an Arkansas Highway map or park map.

Flying

Airports are located in Harrison, AR, Branson, MO, Springfield, MO, Northwest Arkansas, AR , Fayetteville, AR, and Little Rock, AR.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(870) 439-2502

Links