Upper Buffalo River

Just got back about 3 weeks ago from a trip to the Upper Buffalo with my wife- the weather was perfect so it allowed a little hiking and canoeing. Here are some pics if you are interested:


Nice Pics
BTW, did you get that Dagger? WW

She actually ignored my phone call to meet her in the afternoon. Then she sent an e-mail and said it was sold- Oh well, back on the hunt

great photos
Great looking trip! I am hoping to take a trip to the Buffalo in the next year or so and these photos have really fueled the fire. Thanks for sharing


Thanks Dan-
Truth is- it was the fist time I got my wife to go with me on a float trip in over 4 years!! Not really her thing as she prefers to run marathons (not really mine).

Hope she enjoyed the little piece of beauty known as the Upper Buffalo since alot of people never get to float that section.

Pretty lucky she was is how I see it…

I am confused as to what is the upper
Buffalo…To my understanding its above Ponca…People sometimes do Boxley to Ponca but there is also a section above that…

Never done any of that…just Ponca to White River. The sections above Ponca intrigue me.

Would I get killed by willows?

They call that "The Hailstone"
and apparently the section from Boxley to the highway 21 access are classified as some class III stuff (Ozark ratings). I do know that you only have about 1-2 days to run what is known as the hailstone section after the river is 1-2’ over the Ponca low water bridge.

The section I would like to run is from the hwy 21 bridge to the Ponca low water- it’s also tough to time that run if you are coming from out of town, since I hear to hit it at the best water level you only have about 3-4 days to catch it.

Watch this video on You Tube- this is the owner of the Buffalo Outdoor Center, great guy!


I read in my Buffalo River handbook- one of the first documented groups that ran the “Hailstone” put in and within 10 minutes were caught in a heavy hail storm. when they finished their run they thought they could “hide” this section from the general population by naming it “Hailstone” so that way people wouldn’t know it was part of the Buffalo River.

not a problem
for me… since out of the four Buffalo trips I have done…I had to wait for the river to calm down on two and the third outrun the flood coming down the river.

For me the Buffalo always goes by too darn fast.

Here is a link
to some more pics and a discussion about the Hailstone


Your really going to want to hit this section after seeing these!!

I’ve heard
people call the Hailstone (the REALLY upper Buffalo), the Boxley to Ponca, and the Ponca to Kyles, the upper Buffalo. lol. I guess it depends on where you’re from. I haven’t been on the Hailstone yet. I’m wanting to SO BAD! We’re doing it this year. If you want some pretty exciting fun, try the Boxley Bridge to the Ponca Bridge run. It’s way huge, with like 5-6 foot standing waves, Maybe bigger, my husband couldn’t see my canoe when I went over and he was right behind me!, when the reading at the Ponca bridge was 6 1/2 ft. I think it was closer to nine by the time we got off, but sooooo much fun! The willows are only at the beginning, and there is a nice path through them so they aren’t too much worry. We went last saturday the 24th and I think it was about 3-4 inches of airspace and it was still pretty good. Had some whitecaps and maybe some 3-4 ft waves in places. Fun times!