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Camping at Buffalo National River

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Campground Options

Buffalo National River offers a variety of camping experiences, ranging from developed campgrounds with amenities to backcountry camping for those seeking a more rustic and solitary experience.

Developed Campgrounds:

  • These campgrounds often include facilities such as restrooms, water access, picnic tables, and fire rings. Some may also accommodate RVs and trailers.

Primitive Campgrounds:

  • These are typically more remote and offer fewer amenities. You may find minimal facilities like vault toilets, but no water or electrical hookups.

Backcountry Camping:

  • For those who truly want to immerse themselves in nature, backcountry camping is available throughout the park. Backcountry camping requires more preparation, as campsites are far from roads and facilities.

Fees and Reservations

Camping Fees:

  • Fees for camping vary based on the campground and type of site. Developed campgrounds usually have a fee, while primitive and backcountry camping might be free or have a lower cost.


  • Some campgrounds and sites can be reserved in advance, which is highly recommended during peak seasons. Other sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Camping Regulations

Campsite Capacity:

  • Most campsites have limits on the number of people and tents per site. Group sites are available at some campgrounds for larger parties.

Length of Stay:

  • Campers are typically limited to a certain number of consecutive nights at a single campsite to allow others to enjoy the park.

Wildlife Precautions:

  • Proper food storage is crucial to avoid attracting wildlife. Use bear-proof containers or food storage lockers if available.


  • Campfires are permitted only in designated fire rings or grills. During dry periods, fire restrictions may be in place.

Things to Do


  • The park offers a plethora of trails ranging in difficulty, scenic beauty, and length.


  • The Buffalo River is renowned for canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. Be sure to check water levels and conditions beforehand.


  • Anglers can enjoy fishing for smallmouth bass, catfish, and other species. A valid Arkansas fishing license is required.

Wildlife Watching:

  • The area is rich in biodiversity, including elk, white-tailed deer, and a wide variety of bird species.

Safety Tips

Water Safety:

  • River conditions vary, so always wear a life jacket while on the water. Check for flash flood warnings.

Weather Awareness:

  • Be prepared for changing weather conditions and bring appropriate gear for both warm and cold weather.

Emergency Situations:

  • Have a plan for emergencies. Cell phone service can be spotty, so do not rely solely on electronic devices for communication and navigation.

Leave No Trace

The Buffalo National River area is a treasure that requires protection and respect.

  • Pack out what you pack in, including all trash.
  • Leave natural and cultural resources as you find them.
  • Be considerate of wildlife and other visitors.

By following these guidelines, campers can help preserve the beauty and wilderness of Buffalo National River for future generations.

Map of Campgrounds in Buffalo National River
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