Boat Rental Information

We rent canoes, kayaks, and rafts for paddlers to float the Buffalo National River. The typical floating season is March through June, but the majestic Upper Buffalo varies each year depending on the rain and river levels.

The current river levels and temperature data are posted live by the USGS. As National Park Service Concessionaires we are required to screen any paddlers during “High Water Level”. We also follow the Park’s safety recommendations and do not allow any one under the age of five years old on the “Ponca through Kyles” sections of the river.

All paperwork and payments must be completed at the Lost Valley Canoe & Lodging Historic General Store before you launch. Please remember you will need to plan time to complete the paperwork at the store, drive to the launch area, and be ready to float by 12 noon.

We have a one-day float option launching from Ponca to finish at Kyles Landing. If we can not launch from Ponca, we will move downstream to launch at Steel Creek. From Ponca or Steel to Kyles Landing is approximately 4-6 hrs of paddling, but can easily take longer depending on river levels and sightseeing.

Our Upper Buffalo float is the most scenic section of the river with the longest continuous bluff line and a hike to Hemmed in Hollow (the tallest waterfall between the Appalachians and the Rockies at 225 ft.). All day floaters will need to be to the designated landing by 6:00 P.M. Anyone coming in to the landing after 7:00 will be charged a late fee.

To make a reservation for a boat, give us a call at the store 870-861-5522. A crew member will help take information for the date(s), boat(s), contact info, and credit card information for the cancellation policy. We do not run the card for a deposit, but hold it for the cancellation policy. 


Our canoes are Top of the Line, Old Town Discovery Canoes. We allow only two boaters per canoe. We give a 10% discount for 6 or more boats (excluding Saturdays) or for 2 or more days on the river.

Canoes rent for $60.00  per boat, per day.


The kayaks we rent are Old Town and Jacksons. We offer sit-on tops, sit-in, and tandem kayaks. We can help you select a style which fits your needs, or you can request a specific model when you make your reservation. Kayak selections are given on a first come, first served basis. We give a 10% discount for 6 or more boats (excluding Saturdays) or 2 or more days on the river.

Solo kayaks rent for $55.00 per day.

Tandem kayaks rent for $60.00 per day.

Sit Ins
Sit On Tops
Old Town Vapor 10′ or 12′ Old Town Helix 10′
Jackson Rivierra
Heron 10′
Old Town Twister 12′
Jackson Day Tripper 12  Jackson Rivierra 12′


When the river level is high enough, we rent rafts to groups of at least three capable adult paddlers. The largest rafts can hold up to 8 people. This is not a guided raft service, but a day rental for your own use, just like canoes or kayaks.

Whitewater rafts are $30.00 per person.


We offer vehicle shuttles to take-out points along the whole length of the river for float trips or hiking. Shuttle prices vary depending on put-in & take-out destinations. For the safety of your vehicle, it is a good idea to bring an extra set of keys.

We run vehicle shuttles while guests are on the river. So you set up your shuttle when you fill out your paperwork at the store. Then you drive your own vehicle to the put-in location on the river. Once you are there, take the copy of your paperwork to the Lost Valley Canoe & Lodging crew members at the river. They will get you set up with the boat(s) you rented and move your vehicle to the take-out point for you while you are on the river.

If you plan to be on the river for multiple days, we will bring your vehicle back to  the LVC store parking lot over night. Then, on the day you requested it to be delivered,  the shuttle drivers will transport it to the take-out point you requested.

Access Points 2018 Shuttle Rates
Steel Creek $21.00
Kyles Landing $30.00
Erbie $80.00
Ozark $50.00
Pruitt $45.00
Hasty $45.00
Carver $55.00
Mt. Hersey $65.00
Woolum $75.00
Hwy 65 Bridge $80.00
Tyler Bend $90.00
Gilbert $90.00
Buffalo Point $180.00
Buffalo City $250.00

Canoes, Kayaks, or Rafts — Cancellation Policy —

We float rain or shine, unless water conditions are considered dangerous or closed by the National Park Service.  We have a fourteen day cancellation policy.  If you cancel within fourteen days of your reservation, you can be charged up to the full price of your reservation.  If you cancel within twenty four hours of your reservation, you will be charged the full price of your reservation.

Please Note: If you cancel your canoe reservation because of weather or water conditions, it does not exempt you from your cabin reservation.  Cabin rentals require a separate cancellation policy.

No cancellations via email or messages via Facebook! 
You must call us at the office at 870-861-5522 to cancel any reservation.