Steel Creek Campground is situated along the Buffalo River under the towering and picturesque Roark Bluff. One section of the campground offers 26 walk-in tent sites and another section of the campground offers 14 sites for those camping with horses. Half of the sites in the campground are available for reservations. Steel Creek is located about 3 miles east of Ponca, just off Highway 74.
Sites 27 - 40 are our Equestrain Camping Stie for only for campers with Horses.
The facility is available for camping free of charge outside of the reservation season, generally November 15th to March 14th every year
Climbing and/or diving from the bluffs is dangerous and highly discouraged
Do not swim alone during high water
All park trails are closed to pets with the exception of the Mill Creek (trailhead is at the Pruitt river access area in the Upper District), the Tyler Bend Campground trails (Spring Hollow, Buck Ridge, and Rock Wall in the Middle District), and all three Buffalo Point Campground trails (Forest Trail, Overlook Trail, and Campground Trail in the Lower District). More information can be found at https://www.nps.gov/buff/planyourvisit/pets.htm
Don't Move Firewood: Help protect our forests! Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. Moving firewood is illegal in some states. Visit dontmovefirewood.org to learn more.
Please be aware that some special events held at the pavilions or anywhere in the park (such as weddings, press receptions, concerts, et al) require a Special Use Permit in addition to the pavilion reservation. To obtain a Special Use Permit or additional information, please contact the Commercial Services office at (870) 365-2724. Information about Special Use Permits is also available on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/buff/planyourvisit/special-park-uses.htm
Please be advised that providing business services within an NPS unit is prohibited per CFR 5.3 without a written Authorization or Permit approved by the Superintendent. This includes services such as RV or tent delivery & set-up, firewood sales and delivery, shuttle (transportation) services, and guided hikes, floats, etc. For a list of approved visitor services and to learn more about doing business at Buffalo National River, please click here, https://www.nps.gov/buff/getinvolved/dobusinesswithus.htm
The Buffalo National River flows free over swift running rapids and quiet pools for its 135-mile length. One of the few remaining rivers in the lower 48 states without dams, the Buffalo cuts its way through massive limestone bluffs traveling eastward through the Arkansas Ozarks and into the White River.
The Buffalo River Trail runs through Steel Creek and offers great day hiking or overnight backcountry opportunities.
Boxley Valley is nearby and is home to Lost Valley, an easy to moderate trail that leads hikers past geologic and water formations. Call the Steel Creek Ranger Station at 870-861-2570 or visit www.nps.gov/buff for more details.
Floating conditions in the upper (westernmost) district of Buffalo National River are extremely dependent upon rainfall. On an average year, the upper river is only navigable by boat in the spring and early summer when consistent rainfall feeds into the watershed. Some sections on the upper end of the river are technical and should not be attempted by novices. For current floating conditions, please check with an outfitter, call the Steel Creek Ranger Station at 870-861-2570, or check river gauges online at ar.water.usgs.gov/buffaloriver.
rules and reservation policies
For campground inquiries, please call: 870-861-2570
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From Fayetteville, Arkansas drive north and take US Highway 412 East for approximately 42 miles to the intersection with State Highway 21. Take highway 21 South for approximately 17 miles to the intersection of State Highway 43. Here, take highway 43 East for about 5 miles to the intersection of State Highway 74. Here, turn right onto highway 74 and drive about 2 miles to Steel Creek Road. Turn left and drive approximately ½ mile down into the campground. At the bottom of the hill the main campground will be your left and the horse camp will be on your right.
From Little Rock, Arkansas take Interstate 40 West for approximately 93 miles to Exit 64. At Exit 64 take Business Highway 64 west through the town of Lamar for about 4 miles to the intersection of State Highway 21. Take Highway North for about 48 miles to the intersection of State Highway 43. Here, take highway 43 East for about 5 miles to the intersection of State Highway 74. Here, turn right onto highway 74 and drive about 2 miles to Steel Creek Road. Turn left and drive approximately ½ mile down into the campground. At the bottom of the hill the main campground will be your left and the horse camp will be on your right.
From Springfield, Missouri take US Highway 65 South for approximately 70 miles to the town of Harrison. In Harrison, take State Highway 7 South about 1 mile through downtown Harrison until you come to the intersection of State Highway 43 on your right. Follow highway 43 for about 25 miles until to get to the intersection of State Highway 74. Turn left onto highway 74 and drive about 2 miles to Steel Creek Road. Turn left and drive approximately ½ mile down into the campground. At the bottom of the hill the main campground will be your left and the horse camp will be on your right.