River description courtesy of Southwest Paddler. Used by permission.
Class II to III ledge drops, a tight, twisting channel, boulder garden rapids and incredible scenery.
Buffalo Creek twists and turns frequently as it winds it way through the Kiamichi Mountains on its way to Broken Bow Lake. Flowing near or through the McCurtain County Wilderness Area southeast of Smithville, near Hee Mountain (1,439 feet), this tree-lined creek often has little water. As a result trees may be found in midstream, so boaters need to be careful and very vigilant when paddling here, especially in high flow conditions with a fast current.
The creek is in a very remote and undeveloped area near the Arkansas and Texas State Lines. The one thing you will certainly not find here is a crowd of boaters! This means it is not well-suited for recreational paddlers with little or no whitewater experience. Its remote nature necessitates having swiftwater rescue training and skills in the event people, boats or gear need to be recovered following a close encounter with a tree or rock. You will be far from assistance, if that is needed, so be sure to take everything you need and be prepared for all eventualities. Buffalo Creek is bounded by private property, so paddlers should take care to avoid trespassing except in emergency situations. Access: Put in from Weyerhauser Forest Road 28000, off US Highway 259 about 5 miles south of Smithville.
Take out at Panther Creek Campground on Broken Bow Lake. There are no other public access points for Buffalo Creek.
Buffalo Creek is very near the Glover, Little and Kiamichi Rivers, as well as Big Creek, Eagle Fork Creek and Bok tu kolo Creek. Buffalo Creek is very much like Bok tu kolo Creek, except that it probably is tighter and more twisting. It is an amazing whitewater run on Class II to III water when it flows, which is seldom, and then only after a major rainstorm inundates the drainage basin around it. The creek is home to ledge drops, boulder garden rapids, deadfall strainers and occasionally standing trees in midstream through which paddlers must carefully find their way.
This is not a perpetual flow stream, depending entirely upon recent heavy local rainfall to make it navigable.
Having no USGS gauge for flow condition information, visual inspection is the best way to determine navigability, and using Bok tu kolo Creek as a point of reference is often the best method - you can view Bok tu kolo from an overlook off US Highway 259 which runs close to both creeks.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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