Buffalo National River

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

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.