28 Years of Outfitting & Lodging
Lost Valley Canoe

Buffalo River Float Trips, Descriptions, & Maps


Lost Valley Canoe offers a number of different float trip choices, ranging from short trips to multi-day adventures with overnight camping opportunities. The three floats described here are popular routes, but they can be combined for a multi-day trip. A few people each year decide to float the entire length of the Buffalo River. The choice is yours, but most people prefer a one of two day float on one of these routes

The float narratives identify the waypoints on the route along the Buffalo River. The starting point is usually Ponca, but in excellent floating weather some opt to start their float at Boxley, six mile further upstream.

The tables and topo maps with GIS are designed to be your tour guide to the many attractions along the river. The maps and descriptions will guide you to famous pullout attractions like Hemmed-in-Hollow and Bear Creek Hollow falls to name just two. Be sure to leave time to see these amazing natural wonders.

Ponca to Kyles Landing  This is by far the most popular float in the Upper Buffalo River area. It goes through the heart of the Ponca Wilderness and passes legendary attractions. Recently the St. Louis Post Dispatch travel writer dubbed it the finest float in the entire Ozarks. Floaters will want to take time to experience the many pullouts and short hikes along this route. Most will find this an ideal one day float, or the first leg of a few day floating trip.

Kyles Landing to the Pruitt Access  This float is second only to the Ponca to Kyles leg. It begins in the Ponca Wilderness and ends up at the Pruitt Access, just east of where Highway 7 crosses the Buffalo River. Along the way there are more attractions and short hikes. The route passes through historic Erbie. There are many places to pullout and just enjoy the weather. At the Pruitt Ranger Station just before Highway 7 there is a picnic area, restrooms and one of the most popular swimming holes on the Buffalo River.

Pruitt Access to Woolham  In this stretch of the Buffalo River it transitions from rugged and wild to more placid and deep. In this stretch the river transitions to the middle river with better fishing, fewer hazards and many places to pull off and camp. The Little Buffalo River joins the Buffalo River west of Pruitt. Downstream are popular fishing holes at Hasty and Carver. A fairly large herd of elk also resides in the Carver area and might be seen by floaters. This is broken into two parts.

"The 10-mile float from Ponca to Kyles Landing on the Buffalo River gets my vote as the most scenic in the Ozarks. The way is lined with streaked bluffs, some more than 500 feet high, and many drip with water that sparkles like diamonds . . ."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Fall Color at Ozark Campground, Buffalo National River
Buffalo National River at Ozark
Phone: (870) 861-5522
Email:  lostvalleycanoe@gmail.com
GPS:  36.02762,-93.36623
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