Best Tent Camping: Missouri and the Ozarks
by Steve Henry (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Steve Henry/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
This area will get you to one of the nicest private campsites on the Buffalo. Lovely place to park and take the trail at the far left on campground. Goes up hill alittle and then drops down to one of 4 river crossings. At 4th crossing, just across river to right is a spring just under edge of water coming out of hole, underwater! Trail mainly on the level and crossings are normally waist or less. During high water just go left just after trail begins up the hill to homestead and back down to campsite. After the 4th crosssing go uphill for 150 yards and then on to a campsite from dreams. This site has level area, shade, fire wood, bluff to jump off into a gorgeous pool on the Buffalo. This is Horseshoe Bend and just across the river and down to right, a 3/4 mile hike from river is Hemmed in Hollow the tallest waterfall between the AT and the Rockies.
It is 200+ ranging from a thin veil to heavy during high water. Across river from campsite and to left is Sneeds Creek, hike up this creek for a rock slab as big as 2 football fields in the center a pool shaped like a guitar, I call Elvis Hole. Beautiful smaller waterfalls up stream. Bold hikers wanting tougher challenge come in from Compton Trail head, it's easy going down in but a whole different thing coming back up. Many scenic spots in this area, come backpacking here!
We did a lot of research on campgrounds in this region of the buffalo river. We drove here first based on all the reviews we thought this was the best, and for some people it may be. However there is no privacy in this campground, you are essentially in a large field with very little cover and nothing blocking you from viewing all the other campers. After checking this site out we drove to Erbie campground, MUCH better. I HIGHLY recommend the walk in sites, we felt totally secluded, they were very well kept and nice. If being close to a river is what you want you are 500ft from the river, but bring a machete because there is a lot of overgrowth and few paths.
Okay I have been here several times. There are some awesome trails and waterfalls in the area Indian Creek is an awesome creek to hike. There is a trail but it's not a marked maintained trail. Last December it was a little bit hairy getting out in my 2 wheel drive dually. I spun and slid a little trying to leave the campgrounds. 4wd shouldn't be a problem when wet. I have seen cars down there when it was dry. True a lot of it is a big open field , but in the middle of winter awe the sun is so nice. I am rating it as a 4 since I don't think I will be trying it in my 2wd truck after a rain, and if you are camping anytime other than middle of the winter privacy might be of an issue. Definitely worth checking out.
Nice large campground with lots of options if you get there early (mid-week). Sites by the river are best (a little buggy and watch for ticks) because of privacy. Open sites on the grassy hill are noisy and lighted by bathroom lights at night. Lots of shady sites if you arrive early. Holiday weekends (Memorial Day, Fourth of July) are pretty rowdy and drunks are common and loud. Bring earplugs or pick a quieter weekend. Great site for canoe folks since you can put in at Steel Creek and float to Kyles Landing the first night, sleep in your own tent and float the next day to Pruitt take-out. Beautiful limestone cliffs and a pretty stretch of the Buffalo at the edge of the campsites.
I''ve been wanting to visit this campground for quite some time, but my very low to the ground car wouldn''t have had a chance on this 3 mile steeeeep dirt road. I was very pleasantly surprised. It''s a cozy campground with a beautiful bluffline and tons of trails around. Even the road down to the campground is lovely. The scenery is excellent, and if you''re up for a short hike, there is a beautiful swimming hole just up the river, deep even during the driest times of the year. It''s often pretty crowded here, so if you enjoy solitude you may want to consider hiking out a mile or two to set up camp. Even then, there''s a good chance you''ll encounter many other hikers in this beautiful area. The campground is also a jumping off point to get into the Indian Creek area, which is not to be missed if you don''t mind exhausting yourself. Be careful, though, as the park reports more accidents from slips and falls in this area than any other on the Buffalo.
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