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Old 09-02-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
MelanieHamilton
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Buffalo Point National Park - Yellville, AR

What can I say? This is our favorite place to camp. This trip was #12, in 5-years.

We just got back from a 7-day stay, with them. As usual, the campsites and the bath houses were immaculate, the Rangers and the Campground Hosts/Volunteers were awesome. As campers checked-out, we watched workers come in and completely clean each site, including cleaning the fire pit, the picnic table, and they used the leaf blower on the whole site. I believe most of the sites are electric/water...a few are primitive (no elec/water).

The campground was fairly deserted, until Friday when a few campers came in, but they were all gone by Sunday. After that, we pretty much had the entire campground to ourselves. We did find out some great information, this trip. We have a favorite campsite, but it is "non-reservable". It is "first-come/first-serve" only. So, we always reserve a site that we know we like. But, we talked to the Ranger and he said we can reserve a site, and if the other site is available, just pull the tag off of our site and put it on the one we want, and tell the campground hosts. It was too late to move this time, but we will do that, next time.

Don't expect cell phone reception. We took an old phone to take with us on float trips (for emergencies)...we were going to switch the SIM card in DH's Blackberry. BUT, there was no signal on the river, so we never even used it. We were able to drive up to the Ranger Station and get phone service/text message only...and a mile up the road to Wild Bill's Outfitters, to get internet on the phones. So, we drove up there each day to look at the radar and the weather conditions. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Wild Bill's Outfitters...awesome people and I love the things they have in the store. I would also highly recommend them for canoe rentals and transportation.

On this trip, we borrowed two kayaks and took both cars, so we were able to float every day, for only the expense of driving one car to the beginning of the float trip, and one to the end of the trip. We have paid $50 for one canoe trip, in the past. This trip, we took about 5-trips, for only the price of fuel in the car...saved about $200 in float trip expenses.

First day, we floated a 2-mile (2 hour trip) and the longest one was 7-miles (7-hours). The river was extremely low (you can see in the first two pictures). In some places it was only about 2" deep, and we had to drag the kayaks through. But, that only happened a couple of times on each trip.

On the longer trips, we packed food and stopped on the side of the river, and built a fire, and cooked "brunch". We had one dog in each kayak, and they had a ball...although, they were as tired as we were, after the long trips (as you'll see in the last picture). I will try to post more pictures, later.

We are now talking about floating the entire Buffalo River, in the spring. DH says we may need a canoe, to carry all of the gear...but, I want to be able to "do it myself" in a kayak. So, I'm not sure...we may take two kayaks and a "pack kayak". We spent alot of time talking to Rangers who do it every spring. We would only stop at Buffalo River Campgrounds (we got a map and a list of campgrounds)...we are not "on the side of the river campers". But, I think it would be a lot of fun to travel the entire river, by kayaking/canoeing. Anyone who has experience with multiple day float trips...I would appreciate words of experience and advice!









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Last edited by MelanieHamilton; 09-02-2010 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:39 PM   #2
biscuitcreek
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Your review and pictures reminded me that it has been too long since DH and I went camping at Buffalo Point. We used to go at least once a year but I think it's been 2 years since we've gone. And it's probably been 3 years, maybe longer, since we last canoed the Buffalo. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:07 PM   #3
ozarksportsgal
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Love Buffalo Point

We usually stay in Camp Loop A. Most of the time it is fairly populated.

We need to check out further downstream in the park. (you camp site number tells me you were in that area)

How close were you to the bathhouse?
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:20 PM   #4
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Great post! We have been wanting to do that for several years and something always comes up to keep us from going. Gotta make time to float the Buffalo!
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:08 PM   #5
MelanieHamilton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarksportsgal View Post
Love Buffalo Point

We usually stay in Camp Loop A. Most of the time it is fairly populated.

We need to check out further downstream in the park. (you camp site number tells me you were in that area)

How close were you to the bathhouse?
That's what I love about Buffalo Point...bath houses in every loop. We were not far at all...shower and restrooms in D-Loop. We don't like staying right beside the bath house...too much traffic. But, I certainly want to be close enough!

The first time we stayed there, we stayed in A-17, which is one of our favorites. But, they aren't reservable so we always reserve in D-60's, which we love. There is also a site in E-Loop that we love, but can't reserve that one, either. Next time, we will reserve one and then move to one of the others, if it's available...since we know we can do that, now. We like the sites with a lot of space between us and the next site. D and E seem to be more "spread out".

Once, we stayed in E-Loop in October, and we were the only ones in that loop. We had the bath house all to ourselves...but that one didn't have a shower. I just drove up to the shower every night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishboy View Post
Great post! We have been wanting to do that for several years and something always comes up to keep us from going. Gotta make time to float the Buffalo!
You will be hooked! This is the lowest I've ever seen the water level, and it was still fun. I did get a little aggravated every time we had to get out and pull the kayak, but like I said it wasn't that often. Usually, when we had to get out and pull, we just pulled-over and took a break...good excuse for a break.
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Last edited by MelanieHamilton; 09-02-2010 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:25 PM   #6
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Love it there in fact we also just got back about 2 weeks ago. we go every year and float the buffalo we stay at the wild bill's cabins (can't do the tent thing as much as we used too) we used to stay in the camp ground but the cabin's are nice and you can include the float trip it runs with tax right at $500 but that is for 7 adults and the cabin for two nights plus the float trip with that you just tell wild bill's (there are other places to rent from) what you want, this year i stayed behind to watch grandson but they got two Canoes and two Kayaks

btw thanks for the great pics and the story's yes please post more pics

Last edited by Trobaman; 09-02-2010 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:50 PM   #7
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Great post! We have been wanting to do that for several years and something always comes up to keep us from going. Gotta make time to float the Buffalo!
yeah you will love it you can take coolers and stuff out on the river no glass though stuff like that but there are some great "beaches" to pull off on to and eat and swim it is real nice down there for sure my family and I always have fun there and have some great memories from there I think that is one reason we decided as a family to start going there once a year after not going there for a few years so far everyone has been able to make it which is awesome :-)

Last edited by Trobaman; 09-02-2010 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:43 AM   #8
MelanieHamilton
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yeah you will love it you can take coolers and stuff out on the river no glass though stuff like that but there are some great "beaches" to pull off on to and eat and swim it is real nice down there for sure my family and I always have fun there and have some great memories from there I think that is one reason we decided as a family to start going there once a year after not going there for a few years so far everyone has been able to make it which is awesome :-)
Yes...absolutely NO GLASS is allowed on the river. Also, if you're doing your own trip (not using an outfitter), don't forget to take life jackets and a mesh bag. You have to have a life jacket for each person...don't have to wear it, but it has to be in the boat. I believe children have to be wearing theirs. You also have to have a mesh bag for your trash. We just took an empty onion bag, and attached it to the back of the kayak...floated it behind.

You are allowed to burn any wood that is on the ground. The rocky/sandy beaches are great for a fire because there's nothing close to catch on fire. Be sure to pour water on the wood before you float off, or drag the burning wood into the river and then back onto the beach (not with your hands, though. ) We got a fold-up campfire cooking thing at Wild Bill's for $7 and used it on several trips. They also sell aluminum pans full of charcoal with a little grill top on it, for $5. Those are completely disposable.

We pulled onto a beach once, and there was this huge log on fire...big flames. Someone just floated off and left it. We weren't going to cook anything right then, so DH grabbed the end that wasn't burning and drug it into the river until it was out, and then drug it back onto the shore. People can be so irresponsible...it was SO DRY out there.

I'll look through my pictures. I wouldn't take my iPhone out on trips, so all the pictures we got were from the campground area. I got tons, though...will look through them now.
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Last edited by MelanieHamilton; 09-03-2010 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:16 AM   #9
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There were deer EVERYWHERE. Sorry, this one wouldn't hold still, for the picture. The first night, I counted 12-deer in about 2 hours before it got dark. We saw a mamma and her two babies, several times. They even walked right through our campground loop, one evening...beautiful!



Another shot of site D-68 (sorry about the finger at the top...still learning to use my iPhone camera)



This site is E-79. It is one of our favorites. You park your camper at the top, and then steps lead down to the area with the picnic table, campfire, etc. This site is HUGE! The top (where you park your camper) has room for a camper and two cars...all parked side-by-side. The bottom level is big enough for a gazebo around the picnic table and probably two large tents (if you tent camp). It also has a trail at the back of the site (right behind the picnic table), with rock steps leading down to the river...about 100-feet. This is in E-Loop, which has a very nice bath house (toilets only...no showers). You will need to walk (or drive) to D-Loop for the showers (which really isn't that far). This site is electric/water.



They do allow you to move the picnic tables (and they aren't bolted down). Since we have a gazebo over the picnic table, we always move it away from the firepit...but move it back, before we leave. The dogs like to lay on the cement pad where the picnic table was, too...even though they have their own papason (we call it a puppyson) and their own tent.

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Last edited by MelanieHamilton; 09-03-2010 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:26 AM   #10
MelanieHamilton
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btw thanks for the great pics and the story's yes please post more pics
All of my other pictures have either the camper or a vehicle in the shot, so I won't post them (for obvious reasons). I wish I could.

We've done so much to the camper and we're so proud of it. DH built a headboard and I textured it and painted it, and he built a footboard under the kitchen hatch with storage. We put a flat screen TV in it and decorated with pictures and things...we're very proud of it. The kitchen/galley is adorable. Actually, the whole thing is adorable. Every single day, someone stopped to ask if they could look at it...even one of the Rangers. We couldn't even gas-up the cars, without unlocking the camper to show to someone (which of course, we didn't mind at all. ) We love it.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:14 AM   #11
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Thanks for the review! LOVE the "Pup" tent!
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:36 AM   #12
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Thanks for the review! LOVE the "Pup" tent!
...so do I!!!
Thanks for the review! I enjoyed reading it & seeing your photos!
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:38 PM   #13
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Thanks for the review! LOVE the "Pup" tent!
Me too! Love reading about your camping adventures!
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:51 AM   #14
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So glad you had a great time. You deserve to have that kind of fun. Love the pup tent and the life jackets. I need to get one for Mona if I ever get to bring her to Branson. But for now - she just goes to puppy club med since my sister's dog doesn't play well with others. And he is too old to put him through a visit with a younger pup. Oh well -- So glad to read and see your pics.

Hugs!

Vickie
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Old 09-04-2010, 08:10 AM   #15
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I loved reading about your trip. I also think your little babies are so cute.
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