Jasper, Arkansas

Camp along the Buffalo National River

2 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Parker Dodson

Spend the night under the stars among towering bluffs on the banks of the Buffalo National River.

This is a night of camping that is one for the books. Head to the Steele Creek area on the Buffalo River. Once you are in the Steel Creek area simply follow the gravel road to the right and park anywhere in the grass along the river. Camping is permitted anywhere along the Buffalo River as long as it is 1/2 mile from any park maintained areas. For our adventure we crossed the river in front of the parking area to reach the far banks. Be careful as you cross the river because the bottom is cover in very smooth and often slippery river rocks. Once across we proceeded down river following the rocky banks. There is no trail here but it is very easy walking along the river and using it as your main guide. I recommend using a GPS or at least plan out your distance on google maps before you set out so that you know you're at least a half mile from the maintained area. Once you reach a half mile into your hike you will begin to notice some sandy areas up near the tree line that have old fire rings already laid out. Simply set your tent in the soft sand and listen to the river flow on by. Oh, not to mention the 200' bluff across the river that towers over your campsite. Sit back and relax as the night sky comes alive with some of the best star gazing that I have personally ever seen. Don't be alarmed to hear all sorts of sounds throughout the night. In just one night on the river we were visited by multiple deer stopping to get a drink along with a family of river otters! The Buffalo National River is the very first National River in the United States. So, as always, pack it in and pack it out and remember to camp at least 200 feet away from the river.

This Adventure is NOT suggested when the water on the river is high. Please use caution as the river levels can rise quickly.

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Best days

Spending a day hiking, camping and floating on the buffalo river is always a memorable one. Some of my favorite days and memories have taken place here.

THE STARS!

On our first night camping here we endured a pretty good rainstorm, but the second night it was completely clear and the stars were unbelievable!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Omaha, Arkansas

Cricket Creek

Overview Cricket Creek is a spacious and sunny campground located along the Long Creek Arm of Table Rock Lake in the Arkansas countryside. With panoramic views of the lake and the rocky bluffs, w...

170 Ranger Road

Tyler Bend Campground

Overview Campers will delight in the picturesque river views at Tyler Bend. Located 11 miles northwest of Marshall, Arkansas, Tyler Bend is set on a quiet, peaceful section of the great Buffalo Nat...

Lead Hill, Arkansas

Tucker Hollow Park

Overview Tucker Hollow, a small 28-campsite park, sits near the upper part of Bull Shoals Lake. There's something for everyone at the region's most popular lake, whether it's a day basking in the s...

Blue Eye, Missouri

Old Highway 86

Overview Old Highway 86 is a spacious and sunny campground that sits along the White River Arm of Table Rock Lake in the rolling Missouri countryside.Recreation Whether on water or land, Old Highwa...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Steel Creek Overlook

    This hike begins at the popular Steel Creek Campground area along the Buffalo National River just outside of Ponca, Arkansas.  You can park anywhere in the grass just to the left where the pavement turns into gravel at the bottom of the hillside. ...

    2.8 miles

  • Camp along the Buffalo National River via Steel Creek

    The Buffalo National River was declared America’s first National River in 1972. Since then, and even before, it has been an Arkansas favorite for camping and canoeing.  For this trip we drove out to the Steel Creek Campground, near Ponca, AR, and...

  • Hike the Buffalo River Trail (Ponca to Steel Creek)

    Start this adventure by crossing the Ponca Low Water Bridge over the beautiful Buffalo National River and proceed up the path till you reach the trail sign on the other side.  You have the option of going either right or left at this point, follow...

    2 miles 250 ft gain

  • Paddle the Buffalo National River: Ponca to Kyle's Landing

    Put in at the Ponca Bridge, or Steel Creek if the water is too low, for the most scenic float in Arkansas. Paddle surrounded by 3-400 foot bluffs, and through slightly challenging water here and there. Great float for kids as there are plenty of s...

    10.3 miles