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What to Do in 48 Hours in Buffalo River Country | Buffalo Outdoor Center

Sunset on Big Bluff along the Goat trail above the Buffalo River


Buffalo River Country is beautiful in the summer, and home to endless oppurtunity for adventure! With its grandiose Ozark Mountain vistas, beautiful protected waters, expansive trailsystems, wildlife, scenic roadways, and so much more…you won’t find yourself bored on a trip to America’s first national river.

Two days will just scratch the surface of what Buffalo River Country has to offer, but we are here to help guide you in making the most out of 48 hours!


Boxley Valley elk

Wander through Boxley Valley for elk viewing during a scenic morning drive!

Insider tip: The best times to view the elk are the hours right after sunrise or right before sunset! Take in the golden hours of morning surrounded by the often fog draped mountains of Boxley Valley with the local wildlife.

Want to start the morning with a big scenic adventure? Head out on a three mile round trip hike to Arkansas’s most photographed destination: Whitaker Point (AKA Hawksbill Crag)! For other great hiking ideas, check out our Visit our TOP BUFFALO RIVER TRAILS page!

Whitaker Point (Hawksbill Crag)

Fuel up for adventure

After working up your appetite, head to the Buffalo Outdoor Center to treat youself to the BOC Deli Menu! Featuring the most delicious breakfast burritos to a variety of fresh made sandwhichs, salads, & even pizza!

Buffalo River Swimming Hole at Steel Creek

Soak in a Buffalo River swimming hole

By the time the sun of early afternoon hits, the Buffalo River’s cool water is the perfect treat to beat the heat. Ask the BOC for a map of our favorite local  Swimming Holes! One of our favorites is found at the Steel Creek Campground!

Insider tip: Ask for a “River Ready” lunch from the BOC deli for a perfect Buffalo River picnic.

The Goat Trail on Big Bluff

Ready for some afternoon adrenaline

After taking it easy in the beautiful Buffalo River, kick it up a notch! Adventure awaits for those who seek it, along the  Goat Trail along Big Bluff!


HORSEBACK RIDING! This is horse country and riding is a great way to see the landscape. Check out Rimrock Cove Ranch for guided horseback rides and even hay ride for larger groups!

MOUNTAIN BIKING! The Upper Buffalo National River is also home to one “Epic” mountain bike trail Offering about 40 miles of singletrack surrounding the highest point in the Ozark Mountains, the Upper Buffalo Mountain Bike Trail (IMBA Epic) is a gem of the Midwest! BIG NEWS – Mountain Bike trails are coming to the heart of Ponca soon!

Mountain biking in the Upper Buffalo

CAVE TOURS! The beauty of the Upper Buffalo National River area is more than just skin deep! Explore two of Arkansas’ most spectacular caves, Mystic Caverns and Crystal Dome Caverns! It’s a great activity to escape the rain, and since its always a cool 59 degrees inside its also a great way to escape the heat!

ROCK CLIMBING! The Upper Buffalo National River area boasts some of the best climbing areas east of the Rockies! Check out some of the finest sandstone sport climbing found anywhere at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch!

Indulge yourself at one of our local dining spots

With that much action packed in a day, a great dining experience to delight the senses is the perfect way to wind down. Check out one of our favorite local spots: Sugar BoogersLow Gap CafeOzark Cafe.

Milky way at dark sky resort

Take in the dark sky park from our dark sky resort

After such an adventure packed day of experiences in Buffalo River Country, relax at your BOC cabin! You may have heard about the Buffalo National River recently becoming an International Dark Sky Park, but did you also know that the Buffalo Outdoor Center was recently designated as Arkansas’s first dark sky resort! If you are looking for a place to experience a natural sky in Arkansas then BOC is your perfect vacation destination!


Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee with stunning sunrise views

Catch sunrise from from your BOC mountaintop cabin

You don’t have to travel far to catch incredible scenes in Buffalo River Country, just walk out on the deck of your BOC cabin!

Buffalo River Canopy Tour

Experience Buffalo River Coutry from a diffferent perspective

After a leisurely morning at your cabin you’ll be ready for high-flying fun on Arkansas’ only wilderness zip line adventure! Our  Buffalo River Canopy Tour is not just a zip line—it’s a 2-hr nature excursion through the treetops of Buffalo River country! This is authentic zip line adventure, not the “city” kind with telephone poles between zips and traffic blaring away in the distance. Ponca is located in the beautiful middle of nowhere, and so is our zip line tour!

A hiker in Buffalo River Country enjoying the sunset views

Catch sunset over the Buffalo National River from the Steel Creek Overlook

Take in the evening from an incredible vantage point along the Buffalo River Trail with a 3 mile roundtrip hike high above the Steel Creek Access. For more information on this trail and others click here.


Find the perfect lodging for you by visiting our Cabins page!

Kayaker on a river
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