Want to plan your elopement at Steel Creek? Are you dreaming of eloping on the Buffalo River in Arkansas? It is SUCH a beautiful backdrop for an adventure elopement in Arkansas! Seriously, it’s one of my top ten favorite places to elope in Arkansas. If you’re dreaming of this lovely spot but unsure of how to start planning, read on to discover how to get the ball rolling!

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Planning Your Buffalo River Elopement

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, specifically Steel Creek? 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.

Getting Your Steel Creek Elopement Permit

When eloping at Steel Creek on the Buffalo River, you will have to apply for a $150 permit through the National Parks website. This allows you to access either the main field with the painted bluffs in the background, or the gravel bar along the river. Both spots are beautiful. You can also have guests with the permit.

You can sign up for the permit here.

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Steps to Plan Your Wedding or Elopement at Steel Creek

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Enjoy your elopement and remember to practice Leave No Trace! More information on LNT principles can be found here.
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If you’re looking for an adventure engagement or elopement photographer who is both FUN and familiar with the area, feel free to contact me!

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