Spring Rendezvous April 25 thru May 1

The Spring Ozark Rendezvous is the first weekend in May. This year May 1 is on a Sunday. That means this year the first “official” day of Rendezvous paddling is Thursday, April 28. People usually start showing up the Monday or Tuesday before the Rendezvous which will be Monday, April 25, or Tuesday, April 26 this year.

Over the last few years there has been discussion around the campfires about returning to the Buffalo National River for a Spring Rendezvous. I am suggesting that this be the year.

Early in Rendezvous history we had two Rendezvous on the Buffalo National River. We used the National Park Service Ozark Campground as our base camp. I am suggesting we do the same this year.

Camping at Ozark Campground will allow us to do day trips on the upper Buffalo (the Ponca put in is about 20 miles from the campground), and on middle sections of the river if the water is too low to paddle the upper sections.

Since the Buffalo River is dependent on rainfall for paddling water levels, we can always fall back to our usual Rendezvous rivers (the North Fork of the White River, or the Current River) should we determine that water levels at the Buffalo are getting too low.

So those of you who must get your vacation days in can do so now. The dates will not change. All we have to do is agree on the location.

Let the discussion begin

Here is some information on the Buffalo National River.

Here’s a link to the Buffalo National River, National Park Service Website Hit the “view park map” link under Park Tools for a map of the Buffalo National River


To get a map of the Ozark Campground at the Buffalo National River along with directions and a list of amenities and fees go to the Camping web page http://www.nps.gov/buff/planyourvisit/camping.htm then hit on the link for Ozark Campground. This will bring up a PDF file with the map and information. Note that RVs are allowed but there are no electric hookups or dump station at the Ozark Campground.

Here’s a link to a chart showing the river miles between accesses on the Buffalo River http://www.troop142bsa.org/buffalo_river_mileage_chart.htm

So let the discussion begin.

Need an earlier start…
I’m planning to be there again this year, just need to leave here earlier than I had intended; my minimum safe driving time is 9 days/4000+ miles. We HAVE been spoiled with the cafe/meals/ambiance at Twin Bridges, so would need to reconsider grocery shopping and cooking arrangements… No significant problem with a venue change - just wondering how this winter’s flooding will affect ALL of the Ozark rivers. I’m hoping someone local will be scouting/reporting on put in/take out conditions for best access planning.

I’ll be watching closely as this discussion develops.


If there is water…
If there is water available; JoAnne & I vote for the Buffalo. Northfork as backup.


Of course the Buffalo - 1st choice
For Rob and I there is no question that the Buffalo would be our first choice with the North Fork as a back up since the Buffalo is so rain dependent. We have several trips planned this year so if we do go with the Buffalo I could see us arriving Tuesday, April 26 in the evening so we could be ready to paddle on Wednesday. I think most of the group has been to the Buffalo but if you haven’t you will love it! You won’t have the amenities but it is so worth it. Check out the links Vic as given. It is truly a special place. Gosh, I want to go now, bring on Spring!

OK with me
I would be happy with the Buffalo if water levels are good. I would be especially happy if water was sufficient to put in at Ponca, or even better at Boxley Bridge.

I know Mary and the dogs have gotten used to eating breakfast at Twin Bridges, however.

For the record I vote Buffalo
Just in case you couldn’t tell from my original post :slight_smile:

Sounds good
I haven’t much time on the Buffalo, but had a blast on that Ponca section and thought it was an absolutely beautiful river from what little I’ve seen on the other sections. Ozark wasn’t a bad campground. Looking forward to it and, of course, seeing everyone again. Let’s hope for decent water levels… That always seems to be the question on the Buffalo.

Buffalo’s Fine With Us
For those uncertain about lack of amenities, Jasper is not too far away and they have some decent eateries there. For showers, Lost Valley, up by Ponca has showers for a small fee. The store at Lost Valley also has the best honey I’ve ever had, even better than that up by Cedar Grove.

I agree with Vic
It really isn’t because he get’s up early and shares his coffee. I really like the Buffalo.

Hope to be where we decide.


Buffalo River
Sounds great to me!!

Yes indeed…
The Buffalo floats my boat, hopefully. I’d like another crack at it, it was too low above Pruitt on my first try last year.

only once
I have done the Buffalo river once years ago.don’t remember exactly what sections or where we camped.but it was in during the cold weather season.I liked what the sections we did.and would be fine doing it again.depending on how many miles the trip would be.would like to bring the large van.great for sleeping even in cooler weather.would the place we camp at be suitable for it?

You bet.
Ozark is a developed campsite. Plenty of room for your van.

No electircal hookups
Otherwise, should be fine at Ozark Campground. The campground is at the end of a three mile gravel road, but as I recall the road is good.

RVs are allowed as long as you don’t require hookups.

Clark, that there’s an RV.
I THINK I’ll be able to wield a paddle by then, and I sure won’t have the excuse that it’s too far. Dare I hope?

sounding great!
I like the Buffalo idea, and actually might be able to come this spring!

Buffalo with one condition…
I vote for the Buffalo. However, lets have a firm backup plan. The last Buffalo trip fell apart when the water levels didn’t cooperate. Seems like people were scattered all over the Ozarks. Thank heaven I ran into Durangoski and still had a great time.

Back up is the North Fork of the White
Back up would be North Fork of the White where we have been going in the Spring. But let’s all pray that we get water in the Buffalo!

I agree with that approach
but it begs the question “what water level are we going to consider adequate?”

Excellent point, Pete.
If memory serves the lowest I’ve done Ponca to Kyle’s is around 2.5 (not sure what that equates to in terms of air space). It was scrapey but doable.