Steel Creek Campground

Overview

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.

Recreation

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.  

Facilities

Natural Features

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.

Nearby Attractions

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.

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.

870-861-2570