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

Buffalo National River, Ponca Bridge

Spectacular bluffs, waterfalls and scenery with enough rapids to keep the kids interested on this 10-11 mile stretch of the Buffalo. More challenging in the early Spring though.

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 swimming holes.

I've done this with my own elementary age kids and camped overnight in faster water, and in moderate water have taken an entire 4th grade class and rookie floating parents with no loss of limb (though there were some parents who ended up upside down). Plus there's an easy hike to the highest waterfall between the Rockies and the Appalachians, Hemmed-in-Hollow, from the river.

In the spring, this can be much more challenging if water levels are up, and is an expert float, especially in a canoe.

Pack List

  • Canoe or kayak (you can rent canoes and kayaks locally for around $50/day)
  • Cooler
  • Lunch
  • Dry bag
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RT Distance 10.3 Miles
Activities Camping, Rafting, Kayaking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Family Friendly
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Float Trip

Great float, not too difficult. Everyone in our group flipped at least once. This is a favorite float we do at least once a year


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Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

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.

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Hike Lost Valley

This is a beautiful trail that is easily accessible and only a short 3 mile hike. Start at the trailhead on the north end of the parking area.

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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.

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