Hiking Trails

Hiking Lost Valley
Hikers at Lost Valley.

T. Fondriest

The park encompasses over 95,000 acres that surround the free-flowing Buffalo, much of which is linked together by a growing network of trails to accommodate hiking and equestrian-based recreational activities. These trail systems also offer numerous side hikes to locations that showcase the natural and human history that have shaped the region.

Below you will find the park's trail systems broken down by district. Select a district to learn about the hikes that are offered in that particular area. For further information about trails in the park call the Tyler Bend Visitor Center at 870-439-2502 or e-mail the park.

The only trails that allow dogs are the three Buffalo Point Campground trails (Forest Trail, Campground Trail, and Overlook Trail), the Tyler Bend Campground trails (Spring Hollow Trail, Buck Ridge Trail, and Rock Wall Trail), Mill Creek Trail, Villines Homestead Trail, and the Buffalo River Trail between Ponca and Steel Creek only. Please visit the Pets page for more details and maps.

Backcountry camping is allowed on the Buffalo River Trail and some of the park's other trails. Backcountry camping is not permitted on the Lost Valley Trail, Tyler Bend Campground Trails, Indian Rockhouse Trail, or Buffalo Point Campground Trails. Visit the park's backcountry page for further information.

Information regarding trail accessability can be found on the page regarding that trail. Select a district below, then a trail from the district list.

Mobility devices are permitted in all areas. For more information, visit Mobility Devices - Accessibility (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

Don't forget the sunscreen, bug spray, water, snacks, and sturdy footwear. We hope you have an enjoyable hike!

Be Prepared. Plan Ahead.

Tell someone where you are going. Leave a detailed itinerary and map of the area with a responsible person at home or work on whom you can rely to report you overdue in the event that you become delayed. Give them the telephone number to Buffalo National River's 24-hour dispatch: 1-888-692-1162. Remember, cell phone service is unreliable in the park.

Know your limits and prepare. Search and rescue missions often result from visitors who get in over their head and quickly become overwhelmed by trip duration, trip difficulty, or environmental conditions (air and water temperatures). Things you should ask yourself include, are you a strong swimmer? Do you possess basic survival skills, such as lighting a fire, and can you perform those skills while soaking wet and shivering? Are you healthy enough for strenuous activity? Can you carry your pack for miles? If you are floating the river and river conditions change do you know when to pull off of the river and wait for better conditions?

Check the weather forecast. Give yourself enough daylight for day trips. If the weather forecast looks questionable, consider postponing your trip. If you decide to proceed with your trip be prepared for adverse weather conditions. Know what time sunset occurs and plan for unexpected delays. Carry several light sources with you.

Stay on designated trails. Carry a topographic map of the park and know how to read it. There are many bluff lines that offer stunning views of the park, but do not get close to the edge. Hunting is permitted in most of Buffalo National River's backcountry areas. If you are hiking consider wearing high-visibility orange outerwear during hunting season. If you are hunting know where you can hunt, be aware of the trails, and remember that visitors might be hiking nearby.

Leave No Trace. There are special considerations to make when traveling in the park's backcountry. Please visit the park's Leave No Trace page to learn more about Buffalo National River's Leave No Trace efforts.

Last updated: March 8, 2023

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Mailing Address:

402 N. Walnut Street
Suite 136

Harrison, AR 72601


870 439-2502

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