Camp along the Buffalo National River

Buffalo National River, Steele Creek

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.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Hiking Boots
  • Food
  • Fire Starter
  • Machete
  • Hammock
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Headlamp/Flashlight
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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