Nothing says Texas summer like river tubing. When the weather in Texas begins to heat up, tubing is among the best outdoor activities. The state with about 15 rivers has many unique places to hop in an inner tube and float by while admiring the beautiful and serene Texas countryside.
With that said, here are the best tubing spots in Texas.
This 230-mile river that runs from central Texas to the Gulf of Mexico is among the best places in Texas to go tubing. Its cool waters (around 52-54˚F) and satisfactory flow rate make it the go-to spot for cooling off while savoring the thrill of river float. Furthermore, it is surrounded by lovely cypress and pecan trees, which provide plenty of shade from the hot sun.
The Horseshoe Loop takes approximately two hours to float by and is among the best tubing sections on the Guadalupe River. However, this depends on water levels. Of course, you can continue to float after that section.
Texas Hill Country, San Antonio, San Marcos, New Braunfels, and other areas near the Guadalupe River has many great river outfitters and tubing spots. Most of these outfitters provide all of the necessary equipment for tubing and other excellent services, like shuttles to and from the river.
The Blanco River is a lovely river where you can relax on the water and take in the scenery. The best way to get to the river for tubing is to go to Blanco State Park, situated at 101 Park Road 23 in Blanco, Texas. You’ll be able to get all of the necessary equipment at the park, so all you have to do is show up ready to play.
You can borrow tubes from the park store if you don’t have your own. Blanco State Park also has fishing, hiking, swimming, and great spots for picnics other than tubing.
The Blanco River, which flows through the breathtaking landscape of Southern Texas, is an ideal place to spend a quiet summer day. Waterfalls, dams, and magnificent bald pecan and cypress trees await you. It’s a great place to cool off in the summer because of the shade.
San Marcos River
If you’re looking for a place to go river tubing in Central Texas, look no further than the San Marcos River. This river is a branch of the Guadalupe River, one of Texas’s coolest (72°F) and cleanest rivers.
San Marcos River is the most tube-able river because it is spring-fed and never runs dry. It’s about 30-45 minutes from Austin, so this is the tubing spot for you if you’re around the area. Tubing down the San Marcos River takes around three hours, enough time to have some fun in the hot sun.
The city park behind the Strahan Basketball Stadium is the ideal river access point to indulge in a 1-mile tubing voyage while chatting with other students from Texas State University.
South Llano River
This 100-mile branch of the Colorado River, located north of Austin, Texas, is also a great place to go kayaking, tubing, and participate in various other recreational water activities.
You’ll particularly enjoy the river section that runs through South Llano State Park. The area is extremely family-friendly, and you are welcome to bring your children to play in the water.
For families and groups seeking the simplest float, If you want to go to Schlitterbahn and intend to spend your vacation in New Braunfels, this is the place to go.
The Comal is another branch of the Guadalupe River. This is among the shortest rivers in Texas and the world, making it ideal for first-time tubers. This river, which is spring-fed by the great Edwards Aquifer, keeps its cool temperatures (70 to 72°F) all year, which is ideal, especially during the summer.
You can access the Comal River at Schlitterbahn water park and Landa Park, where you can enjoy a two-and-a-half-hour floating trip up to the point where it streams near the Guadalupe River.
The Guadalupe River may be getting a run for its money from the 200-mile cool, pristine spring-fed river that flows through the center of Texas Hill Country. Unlike many other rivers in Texas, the Frio River is situated in a more remote environment, ideal for those who enjoy quiet.
However, it is not far from most of Texas’ major cities. For example, the distance between Austin and the river is approximately 140 miles, and the distance between San Antonio and the river is approximately 80 miles.
The Frio River is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, from massive cypress trees to towering limestone buffs, ensuring an unforgettable experience. Garner State Park is a popular access point where you and your relatives can enjoy a relaxing tubing journey down the river and other water-related activities.
Pedernales is located near Pedernales Falls State Park and is surrounded by a stunning view that you can enjoy while floating. Pedernales Falls State Park is the main river access point. However, the management does not provide tubing equipment, so renting some from a different location before you arrive is advised.
The Medina River completes our list of the best tubing spots in Texas. It is one of Texas’s most underrated and overlooked floating spots located on the Northwest side of San Antonio. Its remoteness makes it ideal for tubing if you want to go somewhere less crowded.
The Medina River flows roughly 120 miles from the Bandera County’s Edwards Plateau springs. Its slow flow rate lets you take in the beautiful canopies of cypress and maple trees along the river and the breathtaking scenery.
Excellent river outfitters, such as the Medina River Company, provide convenient access to the river and floating trips lasting between two and seven hours.
River tubing is, without a doubt, the best way to spend a summer in Texas. The advantage is that it is not an extreme sport like canoeing or white water rafting.
All you need is a decent tube and the right equipment. However, it is critical to pick a suitable river and seek advice from a tour operator to avoid mishaps.
The truth is that these aren’t the only great locations to go tubing in Texas, but you’ll have an unforgettable time regardless. They are also easy to reach and have some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.