Ahh, the Buffalo River. It’s heaven all year round. And as enigmatic as it can be (it’s a long river with different terrain and overlooks spanning hundreds of miles!), it’s still one of my favorite places for a simple elopement in Arkansas.
Considering an elopement on the Buffalo? First, you’ll want to visit the river to make sure it fits the vibe of your elopement or intimate wedding, and drive around to discover some of the prettiest spots such as Steel Creek, Twin Falls, Tyler Bend, Gilbert and others. An easy day trip is to drive to Steel Creek and view the water from there. There are day hikes (several hikes require crossing the river, so be aware of that!) that show off some of the majesty of the area, but always remember to hike in a group and bring water, lighting, extra clothes and other supplies and always stay on trail.
Decide what time of year you want to elope! Spring and Fall are easy favorites for their seasonal weather and gorgeous full foliage, but you can also find amazing views in the summer and a less crowded park in the winter and early spring!
Notify National River Park personnel about your elopement plans to gather any important information about your elopement or intimate wedding. A permit is required at many locations, including Steel Creek, which is arguably the most popular elopement location for its accessibility and proximity to the river and trailheads.
Find a place to stay nearby if you don’t want to make the one hour drive to Fayetteville or the two hour drive to Fort Smith- There are tons of cabin and RV options and Airbnbs abound. Two of my favorite locations are Horseshoe Canyon Ranch and the Buffalo River Outdoor Center Cabins.
Book your vendors! Most spots on the Buffalo River are approximately one hour from Fayetteville and three to four hours from Little Rock. You definitely want to find an elopement photographer who has experience with the Buffalo River and can show you some of the secret overlooks and prettiest lookout points in the park related to time of day!
Enjoy your elopement and remember to practice Leave No Trace! More information on LNT principles can be found here. (I’ll be teaching a LNT for photographers course this summer for wedding and elopement photographers who want to better serve adventurous couples!)
If you’re looking for an adventure engagement or elopement photographer who is both FUN and familiar with the area, feel free to reach out to me for more information! I offer location consulting with all my elopement packages and can show you the BEST locations for elopements on the Buffalo River!
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