Buffalo National River – Skills/Water Level Descriptions

River level readings indicate the condition of the river for recreation. These readings are taken at four locations along the river. Each reading is unique and pertains only to that area.

  • Very low – The river is dry in places, be prepared to portage your boat.
  • Low but floatable – River moves slow with many exposed obstacles (big rocks).
  • Ample water for floating – The river moves at an average of 2 mph, allowing canoes to float over most rocks.
  • Experienced floaters only – The river flows swiftly. Compromising situations may occur. Canoeing experience on swift moving rivers is necessary. All canoeists must possess good river canoeing skills and must be familiar with rescue procedures.
    Flood stage – the river flows outside its normal banks. Flood waters move quickly and carry debris. River conditions are hazardous even for highly skilled canoeists.

Recommended Floating Levels

The river flows swiftly. Compromising situations may occur. Canoeing experience on swift moving rivers is necessary. All canoeists must possess good river canoeing skills and must be familiar with rescue procedures.

 

River Levels Very Low Low but floatable Experienced Flood Stage
Ponca / Steel Creek Launch Below 2.0’ 2.0’ – 2.4’ 2.5’ – 4.9’ 5.0’ – 5.9’
Highway 7/Pruitt Below .5’ 0.5′-0.7’ 0.8’ – 2.4’ 2.5’ – 2.9’
Highway 65/St Joe Below 3.0’ 3.1’ -4.5’ 4.6’ – 8.5’ 8.6’ – 12.4’
Highway 14 Bridge / Buffalo Point/Harriet Below 2.0’ 2.0’ – 3.4’ 3.5’ -5.9’ 6.0’ – 9.9’

 

USGS Real-time Streamflow Data for Buffalo River near Boxley, AR

USGS Real-time Streamflow Data for Buffalo River at Ponca, AR

USGS Real-time Streamflow Data for Buffalo River at Pruitt, AR

USGS Real-time Streamflow Data for Buffalo River near St. Joe, AR

USGS Real-time Streamflow Data for Buffalo River near Harriet, AR