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Buffalo National River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Weekend Trip Report
Trip Dates: April 28 - May 1, 2006
Nearest City: Yellville, AR
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult


Well, we headed out from Memphis Friday night expecting it to rain Saturday and clear up on Sunday so that we could take a day trip down the river on Sunday. We made it to Yellville, Arkansas around 7 am Saturday morning and it was in fact raining.

We decided to drive on up to Branson for a little while to kill some time and get back around 2 pm for check in at SilverRun cabins. (I highly recommend SilverRun cabins!! They are wonderful people and their cabins are beautiful! All their furniture is hand made and their cabins have absolutely everything you need so you donít have to carry the whole world with you when you go! Might I add; their prices are more than reasonable and they will always have my business!!!!)

After checking in and getting rested up, we woke up Sunday to RAIN! I was a little disappointed that we didnít get to go on our canoe trip but we did get out and about.

We went and saw the old historic Rush district which I thought was just awesome! We also drove back up to Branson and checked out Talking Caverns, another place I recommend seeing while youíre up that way.

After a full day of running around waiting for it to stop raining we settled in at our cabin around 7:30 pm. Yaaaaaay!!!!

Monday morning....all sun!! With not a cloud in the sky and the weather back up to par, I was trying not to get my hopes up, being fairly sure that the river was still to high to take a trip before we headed out. We stopped in at Wild Bill's Outfitters(we always rent our canoes, rafts, etc. from them!) and asked if the river was still inaccessible and wouldnít ya know!!

Well, we rented our canoe and drove on down to Maumee where you leave your vehicle. Upon arriving at the access point where we would start our trip I got a tad bit nervous because the river level was at 10 ft and if youíve been down this same float late spring/early summer the river is a lot calmer. I am always up for an adventure though, so my husband and I got our canoe ready, tossed in our backpacks and before we knew it we were on the river and having a blast!(word to the wise: I DONíT recommend taking this trip with the water level this high unless you are experienced).

The scenery was gorgeous!! But it always is along this river no matter what time of year you decide to go! On our float we encountered fast waters and NO dragging (lol)!! The trees were green and flowers were in bloom which made for some wonderful pictures. There were lots of wildlife out and about, which I would expect after a rain like what had just passed through.

We stopped once or twice to sit and enjoy the view, but being that the water level was so high there were few places to stop. I think my favorite part of the trip this year was that there were very few people on the river and it made for a quite the peaceful trip. Either way we had as always a great trip and a wonderful experience and I will of course be back next year to do it again!!

I would like to thank you guys for allowing me to share this with anyone whoís interested in reading it! Thanks and I hope anyone who goes has just as wonderful an experience as I did!


There is a fee for the canoe rental.


From Springdale Ark. Take route 412 to route 21 to get to the upper stretches in Ponca, or proceed on 412 to Harrison for access to the middle and lower river.


My best recommendation is that you call an Arkansas state park. They will send you some valuable information on lodging, activites and other things of interest.

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