Overnight Floating on the Buffalo National River

Spring 2019 is fast approaching, and here at Buffalo River Outfitters, we are so excited to get a jump on the fresh, new season! Now is the time to plan your overnight trip on the Buffalo National River.

With the spring rains come great water levels and renewed opportunities to see all that the Buffalo River has to offer. Overnight floating is a great choice for groups big or small and Buffalo River Outfitters offers some of the best overnight rates found anywhere on the river. We can service the entire Buffalo for overnight floats, and as your Buffalo River headquarters we are centrally located to offer the best service possible to all of the spring thrill-seekers.

For overnight floating, all of our canoes and kayaks are currently $50.00 per day, per boat. Rafts are not available for overnight floats. Call for shuttle pricing and recommended trips, as the best trip can be chosen according to updated river conditions. Click here to see our overnight trip page!

Designated Campground Camping

Along the banks of the beautiful Buffalo National River there are numerous campgrounds maintained by the National Park Service. These campgrounds have varying levels of amenities, such as bathrooms, showers, drinking water, trash services, RV spots, etc. Some of the campgrounds charge per-night fees, which are subject to change according to the group size and type of camping spot needed. If you have any questions regarding designated campgrounds, call us at (870) 439-2200 or the Tyler Bend Visitor Center at (870) 439-2502. Or click here to read the Park Service page on Camping.

Here are a few more things to know:

  • When in a NPS-maintained campground, please observe the Leave No Trace principles. Keep trash confined to trash receptacles if available, or in the Park-required mesh trash bags if not. Do not dig fire pits or make fire rings. Keep fires in designated areas if available, or make small campfires and scatter the remains if not.
  • Remember when you are in a designated campground that there will be people around you and using the facilities. Please be respectful and courteous and if there are any questions or concerns that arise call the park dispatch at (888) 692-1162. If there is an emergency, call 911. All campgrounds observe quiet hours from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. Fireworks are not permitted anywhere in the Park.
  • Some campgrounds that require fees will have self-pay stations and some will have manned fee stations. In either case, it is safest to bring exact amounts of cash to pay for your campsite. The maximum capacity per campsite is six people. Checkout time for paid campsites is 12:00 noon.
  • Use lantern hangers if available. Do not drive nails or stakes into trees or stumps.
  • Keep your pets on a leash at all times, and please clean up after them.

Primitive Camping

Primitive camping means, essentially, that you are on your own. No bathroom facilities, no running water, no trash services, no electricity. If you are planning to primitive camp along the banks of the Buffalo National River you should expect to be completely alone or with very few neighbors and pack and plan accordingly.

Since the Buffalo River is a National River it is owned, protected and maintained by the Department of the Interior. This means that there is no privately owned property along the river. The Buffalo National River corridor protected and cherished property, and should be treated with the respect a national landmark deserves. Click here to read the Leave No Trace guidelines for camping along the Buffalo National River.

Generally, anywhere you can safely pull your boat up and away from the river is available for primitive camping, with the exception of any designated National Park paid campgrounds, or half a mile on either side of any designated National Park paid campgrounds.

Primitive camping is usually necessary for those paddlers who are overnight floating on the Buffalo National River, as the designated campgrounds are scattered. Should a situation arise that throws off a group’s pre-determined timeline, it may become a necessity. For this reason, if you are planning on floating the river for multiple days, always bring what you need to primitive camp, even if you intend to reach designated campgrounds each night. It is better safe than sorry, especially where nature is involved. When primitive camping, remember never to camp against a bluff and always store your boats above your tent or sleeping site, so that if the water rises it wakes you up before it takes your boats away. Do not make stone fire rings, or dig fire pits. Always scatter fire sites and be aware of burn bans before you go.

The park service works hard to make your trip to the Buffalo as enjoyable and clean as possible so that you can focus on making memories. If you have any questions regarding designated campgrounds or overnight float trips on the river, or would like a comprehensive camping list or Buffalo National River handbook sent to you, call Buffalo River Outfitters at (870) 439-2200. We are here to help you plan your best trip, and happy paddling!