Recommended Floating Levels for the Buffalo National River

River
Levels

Very Low

Low but Floatable

Ample Water for Floating

Experienced Floaters Only

Flood Stage - RIVER CLOSED

Ponca /
Steel Creek Launch

Below 2.0

2.0 - 2.4

2.5 - 4.9

5.0 - 5.9

6+

Highway 7 Bridge / Pruitt

Below 0.5

0.5 - 0.7

0.8 - 2.4

2.5 - 2.9

3+

Highway 65 Bridge / Tyler Bend

Below 3.0

3.1 -4.5

4.6 - 8.5

8.6 - 12.4

12.5+

Highway 14 Bridge / Buffalo Point

Below 2.0

2.0 - 3.4

3.5 -5.9

6.0 - 9.9

10+

 

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. When Internet service is unavailable, call park headquarters at 870-741-5443 for level information (24 hours per day).

Definitions:

Very Low: The river is dry in places.

Low but Floatable: The river moves slowly and many rocks are exposed.

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 - River Closed: The river flows outside its normal banks. Flood waters move quickly and carry debris. River conditions are hazardous even for highly skilled canoeists.