your paddlesports destination

Little Missouri River in Arkansas

Trip Overview


I paddled the Upper Little Missouri River just before it flows into Lake Greeson from Hwy 84 to Hwy 70.

It's about a 10-mile paddle and pretty remote with only a couple homes visible from the river. There is no road beside the river so help and rescue are not likely.

It had rained significantly the day before and the water flow was up to 1000cfs at Langley on the USGS gage which is high for this section. The river was still not too off-color and was very beautiful except for the 45 degree cool breezy day that I had to endure with a wetsuit under a drytop.

There were about a eight class 2 rapids and three class 3 at these high flows. The biggest was about a mile from the takeout and it was a river-wide ledge drop with a keeper hydraulic that would be dangerous if you could not punch through it. There were two other big rapids about halfway down that required quick maneuvers.

The riverbanks are still littered with huge logjam piles as a result of the deadly flood of May 2009. Scouting and portaging (which I had to do three times) is kinda tough due to the thick thornbushes and sticker weeds all over the gravel bars and riverbanks.

Accommodations:

Star of the West recreation area is an Army COE campsite with good sites. There are many others around Lake Greeson.

Fees:

None

Directions:

Easy put-in access under Hwy 84 bridge just west of Langley and to reach the takeout just go south from Langley on hwy 369 for about 6 miles until you reach hwy 70 where you go west about 2 miles to the Star of the West recreation area on the Little Missouri River where it ends at Lake Greeson.

Resources:

DeLorme Atlas and Tom Keenon's "Ozark Whitewater" book.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip