Our most popular multi-day canoeing trip is the Ponca to Pruitt stretch, a 26-mile float that takes a minimum of two days to complete. This trip features the best scenery the Buffalo National River has to offer, including majestic Big Bluff and many other beautiful bluffs along the way, plus, towering Hemmed-In Hollow waterfall and the chance to visit or camp at the historic Erbie area.
When water levels are lower and we launch downriver at Pruitt (just off Hwy. 7, about 5 miles north of Jasper), the typical 2-day canoe trip is from Pruitt to Mt. Hersey.
Beginning at Ponca, there are 132 miles of Buffalo National River to explore and many ways to plan a multi-day trip. Take a look at our interactive online Buffalo National River map for mileage and access information or call us at 1-800-221-5514 to learn more about your launch and take-out options.
Call us at 1-800-221-5514 to book your canoe(s). For weekend rentals, you’ll want to book in advance as we are always 100% booked on Saturdays, oftentimes a month ahead of time. Click here for current canoe and kayak rental rates. You may also preview the boat rental and vehicle shuttle contract and boat rental payment and cancellation information at these links.
Come to our office in Ponca between 8:00 AM and Noon to determine your launch site, complete your national park contract, and pay for your canoe(s) and vehicle shuttle. Once this is complete, you will drive to the launch site, where our staff will have boats, paddles, PFDs and trash bags waiting for you.
For your convenience, we shuttle your vehicle to a pre-set take-out access while you enjoy your float trip. We recommend booking your shuttle in advance of arrival as this will help get you on the river even faster. You can book your shuttle now by calling us at 1-800-221-5514. Click here for current vehicle shuttle rates.
How a Shuttle Works
If you have not booked your shuttle in advance, please come to the BOC store to make arrangements. Bringing a spare key with you is very helpful, although not required. Once your paperwork and payment are complete, you will drive to the launch site and leave your car keys with our river staff. Your vehicle will be moved either the afternoon before you take off the river or the final day of your trip. PLEASE NOTE THAT ON HIGH-DEMAND WEEKENDS, ALL OUTFITTERS CAN EXPERIENCE DELAYS IN MOVING VEHICLES, due to not only the volume of requests, but also possibly because of weather and/or traffic issues. THANK YOU for your patience should it be one of those days. Please know we are working to move your vehicle as quickly and as safely as possible. And, if you do have time constraints, please make us aware of them when booking your shuttle reservation.
Motorcycles, Sports Car & RVs
As each vehicle and river trip is different, please call us at 1-880-221-5514 to discuss arrangements for shuttles involving special types of vehicles.
This is Arkansas' finest canoeing scenery, so a multi-day float trip on America's first national river is one of the best canoeing adventures to be had! Click here to learn more about Buffalo National River camping.
Looking for a full-length Buffalo River map? Or, if you're floating between Ponca and Carver, you can download (and print!) maps of these upper Bufalo River sections:
Happy river rats are informed river rats! So, that end, we've put together a handy Q&A based on some of the things our 35+ years of experience have taught us folks find helpful to know before they float the upper Buffalo National River. Visit our Before You Float page here! You will also find a visit to the National Park Service's Buffalo National River web pages helpful in planning your overnight float trip. You will also find a visit to the National Park Service's Buffalo National River pages helpful in planning your float trip, including a page that offers information about float trip safety on the river.
While it's possible for us to have a water level conducive to floating any time of year, our season is typically March through June. If rainfall suddenly brings the river up, we immediately post the availability of water on our Current Buffalo River Level Report. However, typically for multi-day river trips planned during July through February, you'll want to contact an outfitter on the middle or lower Buffalo National River. Please visit this National Park Service page for a list of downriver canoe rental outfitters.
After visiting the Buffalo National River and being served by Buffalo Outdoor Center, we encourage you to share your experience with the National Park Service via a special comment form. It's a great way to:
Simply click on this link to open a PDF of the form: Buffalo National River Comment Form. Then, fax, email or mail it back to the National Park Service / Buffalo National River Headquarters (contact information is provided on the form). Each form is personally reviewed by the park superintendent, so it's a great way to directly share your thoughts with park leadership!