Winter Camping

Buffalo River FallSummer is the busiest camping season, followed by the fall and spring. Winter is the least popular season for camping, but that’s not going to keep you from getting outdoors. While cold temperatures deter fair weather campers from getting out and about, steely campers take advantage of sparse campgrounds. However, since winter is technically the off season for camping, you may find that your favorite campsite has been winterized.

There are a number of campgrounds along the Buffalo River – such as Steel Creek and Kyle’s Landing – that have facilities like restrooms and running water for most of the year. Once winter hits, however, things change. Campsites along the Buffalo River that are maintained by the National Park Service mostly shut down during the winter.

They don’t shut down completely, but from mid-November to mid-March, these campgrounds will be winterized. A winterized campground will have limited amenities and the water will be shut off for the season.

There are a few different reasons why it makes sense to winterize campgrounds:

  • Traffic tends to die down during these colder months. Families shy away from cold temperatures, reducing the need for these facilities.
  • Since there are fewer visitors, the park service can save on their budget by temporarily limiting camping amenities.
  • Cold temperatures can damage pipes, and shutting off the water can protect pipes from freezing.

Many of the campgrounds along the Buffalo are currently winterized, so keep that in mind when planning your camping trip. Your favorite summer campground might not have the things you’ve come to expect in the winter. No running water, no restrooms, and limited if any trash service.

This just means that you have to be more prepared, and do more to take care of the campgrounds. Bring plenty of water, and bring a trash bag to keep your site clean. It’s not all bad news though. Though these campgrounds aren’t running water during the winter season, they aren’t charging camping fees either. The fee is typically $12.00 per night, so you can save quite a bit by camping in the winter. Just make sure you’re prepared!

For more information on campgrounds near the Buffalo River, check out the NPS website. Stop by and see us for any camping equipment you may need!

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