The Paleozoic rocks of the Ponca region, Buffalo National River, Arkansas
Three state highways provide the primary access to the Ponca region (Fig. 1). They are Arkansas 21, 43 (both northsouth), and 74 (east-west). Three campgrounds are located in the area: Lost Valley, Steel Creek, and Kyle’s Landing. These are all Buffalo National River campgrounds and designed for the tent camper.
The roads leading into each camp are gravel and, in the case of Steel Creek and Kyle’s Landing, involve steep grades. Each camp has excellent outcrops within easy walking distance. The roadcuts and mines are easily accessible by passenger car and short walks. Although some of the river exposures may be reached by road or on foot, the ideal mode of travel is by canoe. Unfortunately, water levels typically allow canoe travel for only a few months in the winter and spring. The river in this area is rated class I-II white water, with fairly frequent, generally unobstructed rapids. During the floating season, canoes may be rented from any of several outfitters in Ponca.
The exposures along the River and around the campgrounds are within the boundaries of the Buffalo National River and are under the protection of the National Park Service. Please respect this reservation. Roadcuts in the immediate area but outside the park provide ample outcrops for sample collection.
Figures & Tables
One of six volumes generated by each GSA section for the Decade of North American Geology (DNAG) project, this Centennial Field Guide contains descriptions of 100 sites or site clusters representing outstanding geologic locations in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.