Where can I go Tubing and float a River?
A must do on your Texas bucket list.
Alongside the renowned Frio River in Texas – if you want to stay in Texas, there are so many other great places to float a River, including the Brazos River, Comal River, Guadalupe River, Medina River, San Marcos River, South Llano River.
This post may contain Affiliate Links. Our Full Disclosure is available.
The South Llano River in Uvalde,TX
The section of the South Llano River that runs through the South Llano River State Park near Junction, Texas, is a great family-friendly tubing destination
The South Llano River, a tributary of the Colorado River, is located northwest of Austin, Texas near Junction, Texas. The best place to enter the South Llano River is near South Llano River State Park or even before the park at Boone’s Crossing.
This relaxing float is family-friendly and is also a great place to canoe or kayak.
Float the Brazos River
Located near Caddo, Texas, the Brazos River is a great spot to tube, kayak or canoe. As it’s one of the furthest away from the big Texan cities like San Antonio or Dallas Fort Worth, the river isn’t as crowded as other rivers on this list
When it comes to tubing, most floaters enter the water near Possum Kingdom State Park, which just so happens to be a great spot to camp too.
Fed by Lake Granbury, the Brazos River varies from slow floats to quicker currents with more rain fall. Mid-summer is the best time to experience a float on the Brazos, since water levels tend to run low as we head into the Fall.
The Trinity River
The Trinity River is the only river that flows purely within the state of Texas and is really close to Dallas! Every summer, the Trinity River Vision Authority hosts tubing events, and in June, the Rockin’ the River concert series begins where tubers can actually enjoy live music while floating the river.
The Medina River
For a secluded float, head to the Medina River. Near the small town of Bandera, Texas, this 120-mile Texas river offers clear water and mild rapids and is so scenic. It’s also spring-fed but also relies on rainfall to manage its flow.
It’s a little more isolated but the town of Bandera still offers tubes, shuttle services, and excursions for those wanting to experience the Medina River.
San Marcos River in San Marcos TX
Locals will start their tubing journey on the San Marcos River at the city park behind the Strahan Basketball Stadium. Tubers typically float a mile down the river from here and exit right before reaching Rio Vista Park.
The crystal clear water of the San Marcos River draws crowds of visitors every year. If you’re heading to the San Marcos River, you’ll find Spring Lake, which is worth a visit too.
There are several places offering tube rentals and trips on the beautiful San Marcos River.
- Don’s Fish Camp
- Great Gonzo’s Tube & Shuttles
- San Marcos Lions Club Tube Rental
- San Marcos Tubing Trips
- Texas State Tubes
- The Colorado River
For those in San Marcos, Texas, the San Marcos River is the waterway to head to for the perfect summer tubing spot. Look out for the influx of coed students from Texas State University as the San Marcos River has some of the cleanest water a tuber could ask for.
This spring-fed river does have cool temperatures year-round at around 72 degrees fahrenheit
The Colorado River
This is a massive river that flows through seven states. The longest river in Texas, the Colorado River offers a mild flow with plenty of sandbars for when you need a place to take a break. It is very common to have multiple-day excursions on this river.
To access the Colorado River, Columbus, Texas is the town to visit for supplies and access points.
Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, Texas
The Guadalupe River is the most popular river for floating in the Lone Star State. This 230-mile river actually runs from central Texas all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. However, the most popular spots to float are found in the Texas Hill Country, especially in Canyon Lake, San Marcos, New Braunfels and San Antonio.
The cool water in the Guadalupe makes this a popular summer tubing destination. Tubers can choose from a short float to an all-day excursion. Shaded by cypress trees, the Guadalupe River is a relaxing float, where Texans are seen with typically a beer in hand.
If you asked locals where the best place to go for river tubing in Texas is, the Guadalupe River would likely be a name that you heard many times.
It originates near Kerrville, Texas, flows into Canyon Lake, then is released to create some of the best waters for river tubing and fly fishing around.
Our favorite Outfitters for Tube Rentals and Floating the Guadelupe River
- Gruene River Company
- Jerry’s Rentals
- Lone Star Float House
- Rockin’ R River Rides
- Shanty River Center
- Tube Haus
- Whitewater Sports
Comal River, New Braunfels
The Comal River is a tributary of the Guadalupe River, and at only two and a half miles, floating down it is one of the best things to do in New Braunfels.
Tubers typically begin their journey in this spring-fed river at Landa Park – as it’s short but fun and very manageable. The crystal clear water makes for a great reprieve from Texas’ hot summer days. Tubers definitely utilize their right to bring along alcoholic beverages here, but do keep in mind that glass and styrofoam are not permitted.
End your float on the Comal at the “tuber’s exit” right before the Comal meets the Guadalupe.
The spring-fed Comal River meanders through New Braunfels until it eventually reaches the Guadalupe River. Since its source is a spring, you can expect the water to be between 70 and 72 degrees year-round—a refreshing temperature for those hot summer days!
This is a highly popular river to float, so there are several places that offer rentals and float trips on the Comal River.
The best Outfitters to Float the Comal River
- 444 Tubing
- Comal Tubes
- Corner Tubes
- Landa Falls
- Rockin’ R River Rides
- Texas Tubes
The Blanco River is a beautiful river where you can spend some time relaxing on the water and enjoying the scenery. The easiest way to access the river for tubing is by heading to Blanco State Park.
If you don’t have your own, you can rent tubes from the park store. In addition to tubing, Blanco State Park offers fishing, swimming, hiking, and great spots for picnics.
While you are in New Braunfels, you may want to check out Schlitterbahn, the World’s Best Waterpark right here in Texas!
Pedernales River | Johnson City
The sparkling Pedernales River flows over the exposed limestone characteristic of the Texas Hill Country Pedernales Falls State Park. There’s a decent section of the river above the falls available for swimming and tubing.
There aren’t any tube rentals available through the park, so you’ll have to bring your own or rent equipment from a local company. It’s a good idea to buy a pass online in advance because when some of the local parks get full, you won’t be able to enter.
While you’re at the park, it’s well worth your time to explore other sections, especially the falls. There are also a few hiking trails that wind through lovely, rugged landscapes.
The Frio River, Concan TX
The Frio has 47 miles of secluded beauty with high limestone bluffs, enormous cypress trees and boulders with very clear water. Even more than the Guadalupe river, this is a river of vast changes. The Frio River winds through the heart of the Texas Hill Country, running shallow and crystal clear with spring-fed waters.
Floating a River in Arkansas
Lake Ouachita is beautiful and the edge is in Hot Springs, but going West out of Hot Springs towards Mt. Ida has better camping and parts of the lake (Mountain Harbor or Crystal Springs).
Floating the rivers are also fun (Ouachita and Buffalo are favorites).
Eureka Springs – you can float a river – Heading along White River where you can check out White River Cabins, Can-U-Canoe Riverview Cabins, Ozark Spring Cabins as you follow the route of the River.
To look for a great place to stay, we have 7 Cool Vacation Spots in Arkansas
Why not Rent an RV?
If you’re thinking about going on a cross country road trip, camping, or renting an RV for a special event, RVshare makes the whole process simple, easy, and fun!
Getting behind the wheel of a motorhome is a great way to explore the country while still having all the comforts of home.
Did you know that going on an RV vacation is one of the most economical ways to travel with your family? On average you can save up to 57% on vacation costs compared to other forms of travel
If you love renting Cabins and Camping, these ideas are closer to home around DFW
Should I bring Tubes or Rent them?
After you’ve floated the river a time or two, you may start to wonder if you should go again with an outfitter, or invest in your own tubes and do your own trip. Which is right for you?
Which Type of Trip is Right For Me?
Using an outfitter is easy. Show up and you’re on the water. On the other hand, doing it yourself will involve more planning. You’ll have to find legal access points and parking. You’ll need to buy your inner tubes and then transport them. You’ll need a way to get back to your cars. Are you ready?
New tubes are available at any tire store. You’ll want 20 inch tubes or larger.
But you can get used tubes and save a bundle. Find an independent tire service station in the phone book, not the giant new tire dealers. Quite often they will have used tubes from large truck tires.
If you explain you’ll be using it for floating some people report that they may not sell them to you for liability reasons. Feel it out.
Getting on the Water
Access can be tricky if you’re not using an outfitter. In Texas, legal access points are where bridges cross a navigable river.
You’ll need two cars for DIY tubing.
Take your tubes, coolers, and whatnot, and drop everything off at your access point. Two people will drive to the pickup point and leave one car there. Drive back to the access point, leave a car there, and jump in!
When you’re done, you’ll be at your truck. Two people will go and retrieve the other car, return, and pick everyone else up.
Now it’s time for enchiladas, you master of tubing!
What to bring if you’re Tubing or Floating a River?
You will need water shoes, a waterproof case for your phone. A waterproof camera for kids, sunscreen, water to drink, snacks to eat, and be sure to know the rules of the river regarding life jackets and alcohol consumption.
While many river rental companies not require life jackets, if the water is shallow and clear you can decide for yourself if you want to borrow, rent or bring their own
You could bring your own Cooler, and may need a Tube to transport it along with you. Consider the rules on alcohol and plan ahead!
Where to stay
While you can easily drive to any of these great River locations, we know you’ll need a great place to stay.
We love booking our hotels with booking.com, as they have the best deals and it’s a very easy process!
We had such a great time!
This is a Bucket List item for all of you planning a trip in Texas or if you’ve just moved here. It was the perfect combination of activities and keeping the kids entertained while still being relaxing for the parents and definitely a great trip idea to add to 101 Ideas for things to do this Summer in DFW.
If you liked this, we think you’ll also enjoy checking out the Best Lakes in the Lone Star State