Rental Policies

First of all, please know that we greatly appreciate your business. Policies and rules may seem a bit formal here in the beautiful middle of nowhere; however, we’ve found that our guests sincerely value clear, upfront communication, as well as helpful things to know about the Ponca area prior to arrival. These guidelines represent good business practices, as well as protect the 99% of you who honor them from those who, unfortunately, may not. For example, a guest with pet allergies is assured by our pet policy that certain cabins shall remain pet-free.

It is a guest’s responsibility to read and understand our policies and rules, as well as pass them on to the members of his or her party. While we have tried to be reasonably thorough, the guidelines outlined below are not inclusive of everything, so please check with us if you have questions by filling out our contact form or calling 870-861-5514. Our guidelines and policies are applicable as interpreted by Buffalo Outdoor Center only and not at the discretion of any other party.

BOC Lodging Policies, Rules & Other Information

2-Night Minimum Stay

A reservation involving a Friday or Saturday night requires a minimum stay of at least 2 consecutive nights. Select holiday and peak season time frames such as Valentine’s or President’s Day may also require a minimum or 2 nights or longer. Please ask our office staff for the current holiday booking guidelines.

3-Night Minimum Night Stays

Certain holiday time frames, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, may require a stay of 3 or more consecutive nights. Dates requiring a stay of 3 or more consecutive nights are listed on our website or available by calling us at 870-861-5514.


Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. or after / Check-out time is by 10:00 a.m. Please note that if a guest staying in your cabin plans to arrive before you and asks to check in, you will need to call us beforehand and grant permission. Otherwise, the guess will not be allowed to enter the cabin until you arrive. Also, if you are scheduled to check-out on a day of your BOC zip line tour or river trip, you must remove your belongings from the cabin before beginning the activity.

Late Arrivals

If you arrive after we close, we will place your cabin key and cabin / lodge map in an envelope with your name on it and pin it to our bulletin board next to the office’s front door.

Final Payment

The balance of an account (less the $25 per cabin / per night deposit) is due upon arrival and can be paid by credit or debit card, money order, personal check or cash.


A non-refundable deposit of $25 per cabin per night reserved is required in order to hold your reservation, along with a current Visa, Discover, MasterCard or American Express card on file and a signed confirmation letter. For reservations involving 3 or more cabins, a deposit equal to 50% of the total amount due may be required. Deposits can be paid by credit or debit card, money order, or personal check. Deposits paid by credit or debit card will be charged the day of reservation. Other deposit payment methods must be received within 8 days of reserving your cabin(s) or the reservation is subject to cancellation. A reservation involving a lodge and most or all of our cabins may require full payment at the time of booking. Please note that a lodging deposit is non-transferrable to other BOC services, activities or store purchases.


For cabin and Riverwind Lodge cancellation policies, please visit or Payment and Cancellation page.

Refunds / Adjustments

Buffalo Outdoor Center does not issue refunds or adjustments due to factors out of our control, e.g. weather, illness, personal reasons or early check-out. Prices and policies are subject to change without notice. Buffalo Outdoor Center reserves the rights to correct any pricing errors without refund.

Additional Guests

Each cabin is designed to host a certain number of guests as specified on our website (www.buffaloriver.com) and printed rate sheet. Please refer to one of these or call us at 870-861-5514 to clarify the number of guests your cabin is designed to host. Should we feel that a cabin has an excessive number of guests, we reserve the right to enter the cabin and evaluate the situation. We reserve the right to charge an additional $150+tax per night for the cabin should we feel its occupancy has been exceeded.


These cabins are designated as pet-friendly:

  • Cabin 1
  • Cabin 2
  • Cabin 4
  • Crossbow Cabin
  • Songbird Cabin
  • Valley Dream Cabin
  • Mills Cabin
  • Mountain Ecstasy Cabin
  • Balloon Cabin
  • Windridge Cabin
  • Buffalo River Cabin
  • Mountain Magic Cabin

Pet fees are $29+tax per night, per pet. Pets must be crated when left unattended in the cabin. An undisclosed pet(s) will result in a $150+tax fee per pet, per night of your reservation, as an extraordinary cleaning effort is required in order to thoroughly remove pet hair and dandruff from a cabin in order to keep it pet-free.

Upon arrival you should receive a pet welcome kit, which includes a sleeping sheet, dog treats and waste removal bags. Please secure and place the waste bags in your outdoor trash container. Thank you for keeping the lawn of your cabin free of pet waste out of respect for the next guests, as well as our staff. Removing pet waste is the pet owner’s responsibility. Inordinate amounts of pet hair on rugs, floors or furniture or yard waste may result in an additional fee.

Damage Charges

Buffalo Outdoor Center reserves the right to charge your credit card for stolen items or damages to our property or cabins or lodge. If something is missing, broken or not working properly when you check in, it is your responsibility to advise the Buffalo Outdoor Center staff promptly or, if checking in after office hours, notify us immediately the following morning. In turn, we will respond as promptly as possible to correct the issue. Should you wait to report something on the day of departure, we will assume that the issue was acceptable to you during your stay.

Lost & Found

We keep lost-and-found items for 30 days. While we cannot guarantee that we will find an item left in a cabin, we will make every effort to do so. The cost of packaging and shipping the item will be billed to the credit card used to pay for your reservation. Or, you may provide us with a different credit card number to use. Please note that it is not our responsibility to identify that you have left an item behind.

Tents & Campfires

Tents and campfires are not permitted at any cabin (other than the Creekside Cabin) or at RiverWind Lodge or Ponca Creek Lodge.


The Arkansas Clean Air Act prohibits smoking inside the cabins and the lodge. If you smoke outside, please prevent forest fires by extinguishing all embers and please use designated ashtrays and receptacles. PLEASE DO NOT TOSS CIGARETTE BUTTS ONTO THE LAWN. A sand bucket is provided on cabin porches for this purpose.

Phones & Cell Service

Cabins and lodges are not equipped with landline telephones. Cell service, however, is fairly reliable at our mountain-top cabins and RiverWind Lodge, especially if you use one of the more common service providers such as AT&T.

Free Wifi & Dish Network Service

Free wifi and Dish Network service is available at the following cabins:

  • Arkansas Cabin
  • Buffalo River Cabin
  • Windridge Cabin
  • Balloon Cabin
  • Ponca Creek Lodge
  • Foxfire Cabin
  • Wanderlust Cabin
  • Cabin X
  • Mountain Magic Cabin
  • Mountain Ecstasy Cabin
  • Mountain Sunrise Cabin
  • RiverWind Lodge
  • Morning Glory Cabin
  • Mountain Sunset
  • Compton Mountain Cabin
  • Elkhorn Cabin
  • Wildwood Cabin
  • Ponca Creek Lodge

ALL CABINS IN PONCA NOW HAVE FREE WIFI (Dish Network service, however, is not available)


Buffalo Outdoor Center’s store/office offers many of the basic toiletries, groceries and clothing items guests routinely find they need during their stay. There are grocery, retail stores, clothing stores and a hospital about 30 minutes away in Harrison, AR.

Urgent Messages

We will be happy to take urgent messages during office hours at 870-861-5514. However, we are not responsible for delivering them to you; please check with us in the office to learn if you have received messages during store hours. Loved ones not with you or babysitters / housesitters / petsitters should be aware that this number is not answered during the hours our office is closed. Should an after-hours emergency arise, they should contact the Newton County Sheriff’s office at 870-446-5124 and make them aware that you are staying at Buffalo Outdoor Center. Providing them with the name of the cabin you have rented would expedite your being reached.

Emergency Numbers While at BOC:

  • 911 for any life-threatening situation call the Newton County Sheriff’s office at 870-446-5124
  • BOC Store / Office #: 870-861-5514 during regular business hours (Store / Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, March – October | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, November – February)
  • North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison, AR, is located approximately 26 minutes from Ponca to the north. The phone # is: 870-414-4000.

The Outdoor Environment

BOC is located in a remote and richly scenic section of Arkansas. This wilderness area is limited in services and population. Deer, elk and other critters frequently cross the roads–especially at night–so please be on the lookout for them when driving. Our surroundings are home to a variety of wonderful creatures, but also poisonous snakes, insects and even poisonous plants such as poison ivy. As a general rule, we all co-exist peacefully without incident. However, please be aware that a few creatures and plants are harmful and acquainting yourself with them prior to arrival is a prudent measure. Your local library, bookstore or online search browser should be of help for information about flora and fauna of the Ozark Mountains and Buffalo National River.

Thank you for reviewing and sharing our guidelines with others in your party. Should you have any questions or changes to your reservation, please let us know. You may contact us or call 870-861-5514.