Want to try Tubing on the Frio River this Summer?
For those looking for an outdoor adventure in West Texas, hit up the Frio River. It’s one of many great places to go Float a River
Spanish for “cold,” the Frio is 200 miles long, boasts scenic views of Texas’ best land, and of course is cold due to the spring-fed water.
Garner State Park is a popular spot where floaters typically gain access to the Frio. Unlike rivers in the Texas Hill Country, the Frio River is less populated and is in a more remote setting.
Just look up the location of Frio River in Concan, Texas. Cold and secluded, the Frio River is ideal for escaping the summertime crowds.
Join Melissa, who shares her vacation with us and her top tips for tubing on the Frio River. This post contains affiliate links.
How far is Concan from San Antonio?
The distance between San Antonio and Concan is 75 miles. The road distance is 83.4 miles.
You could definitely combine a Tubing Trip on the Frio River with a family vacation in San Antonio, a visit to the Riverwalk and Seaworld (affiliate link).
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.
When you go for a dip in the Frio, you’ll love the pretty views overhead, including the tall limestone bluffs, big cypress trees, and stunning birds.
If you’re looking for a great place to fish, canoe, kayak or tube, this river’s for you!
Where to Stay?
We stayed at the Frio Pecan Farm (144 Red Wright Rd., Leakey, TX 78873). It has lots of options for different types of accommodation. We chose a house with a pool.
The farm is really pretty and gives you private access to fresh water swimming. This has a rope swing and a cliff to jump off. The water is crystal clear and the fishing is great.
We set up a canopy and some chairs on the day we got there and left it there for the duration of our stay. It’s nice to walk around the property and there are lots of deer.
Camping with an RV?
We recommend Camp Riverview as the most popular option in Concan, Texas and close to the Frio River at a rate of $60 per night.
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
How much are the Cabins at the Frio River?
For Cabins (with a maximum of 5 people), you’re looking at a range from $145 per night with weekends at a higher price than midweek rentals. Camp Riverview charge $205 upwards for a 2-bedroom rental. Check if rentals include linens and towels, and be prepared to bring them with. Extra towels are always a good idea!
Is the Frio River open to the public?
Yes. It absolutely is!
Access Points for the Frio River
- County Road crossing near Kent at 0.0 miles
- US Highway 83 bridge at 10.0 miles
- Bridge on FM 337 east of Leakey at 12.0 miles
- Bridge off FM 1120 southeast of Leakey at 14.0 miles
- FM 1120 crossing west of Rio Frio at 18.0 miles
- Bridge off FM 1050 at 20.0 miles
- Garner State Park on river left at 21.5 miles
- Magers Crossing at 23.0 miles
- Third River Road Crossing on County Road 348 at 26.5 miles
- Second River Road Crossing at 28.5 miles
- Neal’s Lodge Campground on river right just above the Highway 127 crossing southeast of Concan at 31.0 miles.
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!
Where can I rent Tubes for the Frio River?
For tubing rentals, we went to Happy Hollow Frio River Outfitters (32580 US-83, Concan, TX 78838).
You don’t need to book, just turn up when you’re ready and park your car. You can hire tubes for yourself and your cooler from here and they will shuttle you in a little bus to the top of the river so you can float down and have your car waiting for you at the end.
What to bring tubing on the Frio 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.
The Frio River does not require life jackets, the water is not very deep and is very clear. We did put a life jacket on our ten year old.
Alcohol is allowed but no glass containers. We hired a tube for our cooler.
It’s very relaxing and if you get there early enough you can beat the crowds.
Where to eat and shop nearby?
Order fried chicken from Chickin’ Earls (631 South US-83, Leakey, TX 78873) if you are in town on a Tuesday or Friday. Call when they open at 11 am to order and pick up as they sell out.
There are lots of cute antique stores in the little town of Leakey and an old-fashioned corner store which is worth checking out.
There is also a pizza restaurant on the Pecan Farm but we didn’t try it this time.
What else can we do?
Garner State Park is only a 10 minute drive and definitely worth a visit. It is one of the most popular State Parks in Texas.
We booked day passes a month in advance and I would suggest arriving at the park early as there was a huge line to get in as we were leaving.
We did a short hike called Old Baldy Trailhead and it was quite steep but the views were worth it.
There are lots of other hiking options and this is a great State Park for swimming and it also has a candy store and mini golf course.
We had such a great time, we have already booked to go back next year. It was the perfect combination of activities and keeping the kids entertained while still being relaxing for the parents.