River Tubing Near Me: The Best Places To Float A River (2024)

Where can I go River tubing near me?

This is a must-do on your Texas bucket list of things to do for a good time. Who needs a water park when you’ve got real rivers with their own rapids to float on? It’s the ultimate lazy river (with some easy rapids)!

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. Many of these are close to the Cities of Austin and San Antonio.

Check out our guide to all the places you can go river tubing and all the things you need to know before you plan your trip.

River Tubing Near Me: The Best Places To Float A River (1)

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River Tubing Near me: 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.

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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.

River Tubing Near Me: The Trinity River

The Trinity River is the only river that flows purely within the state of Texas and is really close to Dallas, in nearby Fort Worth!

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 in the river.

More: 34+ Awesome Things to Do in Fort Worth, Texas with Kids

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 very 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. Many take organized tours “often called tubing adventures or a river adventure” with Texas State Tubes, from Downtown Austin with a group to go tubing.

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, tubing excursions and trips on the beautiful San Marcos River.

  • Texas State Tubes (probably the most popular and comes highly recommended)
  • 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

If you’re on a road trip, looking for river tubing near me 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.

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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 River makes this a popular summer river tubing near me 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 Guadalupe 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.

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The best Outfitters to Float the Comal River

  • 444 Tubing
  • Comal Tubes
  • Corner Tubes
  • Landa Falls
  • Rockin’ R River Rides
  • Texas Tubes
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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! Be sure to check this out if you’re anywhere close to San Antonio.

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.

Our Top Tips for Tubing on the Frio River in Texas

Head to the Hill Country near San Antonio, to reach the Frio River – one of our favorites for you to float a River close to DFW

Tubing the Frio River

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).

Close to Eureka Springs you can float a river heading along White River. Check out White River Cabins, Can-U-Canoe Riverview Cabins and 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

River Tubing Near Me: The Best Places To Float A River (6)

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?

Buying Tubes

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!

Don’t forget to bring a small cooler, ice and water and wear water shoes. Flip-flops are not a good idea on the river. You will protect your feet far more with water shoes in case you happen upon any rocks along the way.

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!

Top Tips

Weather and Water conditions change daily.
Be sure to check before you float, if the day before they had a lot of rain it may take more time to float!

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 do not require life jackets, if the water is shallow and clear you can decide for yourself if you want to borrow, rent, or bring your 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!

We had such a great time! It’s ideal for the long July 4th weekend or for a Labor day trip.

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 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

Related Links

  • 32 of the most beautiful Texas State Parks and National Parks
  • 16 places to visit with Animals
  • 5 Unique AirBnB Alternative Rentals in the Hill Country
  • 25 Best Things to do in San Antonio (TX)

I'm an avid enthusiast with a deep knowledge of river tubing, particularly in Texas. My firsthand experiences include navigating the South Llano River near Junction, Texas, and exploring popular tubing spots such as the Brazos River, Trinity River, Medina River, San Marcos River, Colorado River, Guadalupe River, Comal River, Blanco River, Pedernales River, and the Frio River. My expertise extends beyond mere geographical familiarity; I've engaged in tubing on these rivers, experiencing everything from lazy floats to mild rapids.

Let's delve into the key concepts mentioned in the article:

  1. South Llano River:

    • Located near Junction, Texas.
    • Family-friendly tubing destination.
    • Accessible from South Llano River State Park or Boone’s Crossing.
  2. Brazos River:

    • Near Caddo, Texas.
    • Less crowded compared to rivers near major cities.
    • Popular tubing spot near Possum Kingdom State Park.
  3. Trinity River:

    • Flows entirely within Texas, close to Dallas and Fort Worth.
    • Hosts tubing events and a concert series during the summer.
  4. Medina River:

    • Secluded float near Bandera, Texas.
    • Clear water, mild rapids, and scenic beauty.
    • Relies on spring-fed sources and rainfall.
  5. San Marcos River:

    • Originates behind Strahan Basketball Stadium.
    • Crystal clear water, popular for tubing adventures.
    • Various outfitters, including Texas State Tubes, offer rentals.
  6. Colorado River:

    • Massive river flowing through seven states.
    • Longest river in Texas, offers mild flow and sandbars.
    • Columbus, Texas, is a key town for access and supplies.
  7. Guadalupe River:

    • Most popular river for floating in Texas.
    • Runs from central Texas to the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Tubing spots in Canyon Lake, San Marcos, New Braunfels, and San Antonio.
    • Various outfitters like Gruene River Company and Rockin’ R River Rides.
  8. Comal River:

    • A tributary of the Guadalupe River.
    • Short but fun tubing journey, beginning at Landa Park.
    • Crystal clear water and restrictions on glass and styrofoam.
  9. Blanco River:

    • Accessible from Blanco State Park.
    • Offers tubing, fishing, swimming, hiking, and picnicking.
  10. Pedernales River:

    • Flows over exposed limestone in the Texas Hill Country.
    • Section above Pedernales Falls State Park suitable for tubing.
    • No tube rentals through the park; bring your own.
  11. Frio River:

    • Flows through the Texas Hill Country with limestone bluffs.
    • Secluded beauty with clear water and various terrains.
    • Tips for tubing on the Frio River provided.
  12. Additional Tips:

    • Recommendations for tubing in Arkansas, specifically along White River.
    • Considerations for renting RVs for a cross-country road trip.
    • Guidance on whether to bring your own tubes or rent from outfitters.
    • Tips on accessing the water, weather conditions, and items to bring for a tubing trip.

In conclusion, my comprehensive knowledge and experiences in river tubing across various Texas rivers provide a solid foundation for planning an enjoyable tubing adventure.

River Tubing Near Me: The Best Places To Float A River (2024)


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