Late Summer Float on the Buffalo

The Buffalo National River is beautiful every day of the year, and late summer is no exception. Summer is a time for heat, which can mean trouble to an unprepared river goer. This can cut a late summer float short at the very least and possibly threaten the health and welfare of any unprotected person. That’s why it is so important to know the conditions and come prepared.

Temperatures in Northwest Arkansas can often reach the upper nineties in the summertime. This, combined with humidity and the intense summer sun can cause your otherwise beautiful float to be cut short. Here are a few words of advice on how to enjoy a safe float on the Buffalo National River in the hazy, late days of summer.

Sun Protection

Always bring sunscreen to the Buffalo National River, especially when floating. The direct sunlight reflected off of the river’s shiny surface can double your exposure to harmful UV rays. If you enjoy a swim, consider purchasing waterproof sunscreen or reapply liberally. When applying sunscreen, do not forget the sensitive skin on the top of your foot, and attend areas like shoulders and the tops of your thighs with special consideration. Additional protection, such as a sunhat or a protective shirt with sleeves are all very good decisions.


If you are going on a longer float, remember to take frequent breaks and remind everyone in your group to drink water liberally. If you and your adult group decide to imbibe while on the Buffalo National River, we ask you to do so responsibly. Remember to drink water in between alcoholic drinks, as alcohol will dehydrate you quickly. Drinking water while enjoying alcoholic beverages protects against overindulgence, dehydration, heat stroke, and a nasty hangover.


In July and August, the river levels begin to get a little low, meaning that the water will be slow moving and there will possibly be areas where you have to get out and drag your boat for a short time. So keep this in mind when considering footwear for your late summer float – Chacos, strap sandals or any sturdy shoe that can be worn in the water will work quite well. Also, you will be working a little harder to move along in the water, so consider that when packing and maybe bring more snacks and water than you generally would.

If you do end up with a sunburn, (it happens a lot) come in to our store after your float. We always have ice-cold air conditioning, cold water, and sunburn gel for sale. Please try to be careful this summer floating season. Keep your adventures safe and enjoyable by respecting mother nature’s power and protecting yourself against the heat!

As always, our phone lines are open to questions, and we will do our best to provide you with great advice and tips for your Buffalo River Adventure! Call us today! (870) 439-2200 or drop us an email by filling out a contact form.

Happy floating!