River tubing is an insane amount of fun. If you have ever done it, you can’t help but rave about it. It is the perfect activity for friends and family, or even just for a date night.
If you want to go river tubing, you need to make sure that you go to the right river. The United States provides the best river tubing in the world, but there are around 250,000 rivers in the US…
To help you pick out the best rivers to go river tubing in the United States, here are 15 of the most popular ones.
Salt River tubing – Arizona
A trip down this 67-degree river on a hot 98-degree day is the perfect way to cool off. Just pack all you need, then take the bus to any higher elevation, rent some inner tubes and enjoy your trip down the river.
The best time to go tubing on the river is in May; it’s usually open seven days of the week until Labor Day.
Most people float on the Lower section of the river, near Phoenix, though this section does not always have much water or any whitewater.
Depending on where you launch and stop and how the river flows, trips can take up to 6 hours. Pack sunscreen and enough drinks, but know that glass containers are prohibited.
More info on tubing the Salt River
Farmington River tubing – Connecticut
If you are looking for a scenic winding tidal river for tubing in Connecticut, the Farmington won’t disappoint.
This river has the perfect conditions for thrilling rides with a combination of rapids and specially designated floating tubes.
However, be prepared to observe a few rules. You may have to sign a waiver against accidents from rapids and rocks, but if you plan carefully and follow the rules, you will have an adventure of a lifetime down the river.
More info on Farmington river tubing
Delaware River tubing – Delaware
Spend your afternoon tubing on the upper section of the Delaware River with your whole family. Just take a bus upriver, rent a tube, and launch.
You can take the trip from Westfall towards River Beach or head towards Barryville; these will give you a 5km float trip on mild Class I and II waters with Pennsylvania and New Jersey scenic views.
You can stop at Adventure Island for some mouth-watering dishes. There are picnic tables in the water, where you can have your BBQ meal while submerging your feet in the water.
More info on tubing the Delaware river
Rainbow River tubing – Florida
If you are ever in the southwest of Marion County, FL, in the summer, a tubing trip down the Rainbow River is one of the best ways you can spend your afternoons.
If the former is closed, you can start at K.P Hole County Park or the State Park facility. Rent a tube, take the tram to a higher elevation of the river, and enjoy the float trip back to your starting point.
It’s approximately a 1.5-hour trip, and after you finish, you can use your park entrance receipt to get into the headsprings area for swimming, picnic, nature study, and all kinds of family fun.
More info on tubing Rainbow River
Ginnie Springs tubing – Florida
In the northwest of Florida’s High Springs sits this large, privately owned park connected to the Santa Fe River.
It’s open to the public, and floating the river is one of the favorite pastimes of locals in the summer.
It can take about an hour to float the whole spring, which has clear, clean water that maintains a 72-degree temperature throughout the year.
Other activities on the river include swimming, diving, and wildlife watching. Alcohol is permitted.
More info on Ginnie Springs tubing
Chattahoochee River tubing – Georgia
No vacation in Helen in the warm summer months is complete without shooting the Hooch. It is the best way to spend your summer afternoons in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
You can rent tubes from Cool River Tubing or Helen Tubing and Waterpark. They provide a series of short or all-day floating experiences on the river that will take you from a higher elevation and through the center of the Alpine village with views of rare bird species, algae, etc.
You can even bring your dog to enjoy the trip.
More info on tubing the Chattahoochee River
Saco River tubing – Maine
The Saco River in South Western Maine is known for pristine water and sandy beaches. It averages about 3ft deep with a few deeper sections and mild rapids.
A trip down the River from Saco Canoe Rental landing to Redstone is the best way to experience the river. The trip consists of 3 sections:
- mild rapids,
- sandy beaches,
- and even rope swings for the adventurous.
The best time to go tubing here is between July and August, when the flow is above 375cfs. Depending on the water level, it may be safe for children above age 12.
Dan River tubing – North Carolina
If you are looking for an adventure near Madison town, N.C., a leisure float down the immaculate Dan River won’t disappoint.
Tubing season starts Memorial Day weekend and continues till Labor Day weekend. There are several outfitters and tubing companies in the area.
Take a bus upriver at the Danbury General store, and float back to the store.
More info on tubing on the Dan River
Guadalupe River tubing – Texas
Floating down the Guadalupe River in the Horseshoe Loop Section is one of the favorite pastimes of locals and visitors in Texas. The river section is always slow, but the water is refreshing and feels wonderful under the scorching Texas sun.
However, beware of the river rules: glasses and styrofoam are prohibited, and tubing is not allowed when the river flow is above 1200cfs. Also, occasionally the water level decreases, and your tube may get stuck on rocks in the shallow river beds.
More info on tubing at Guadalupe River
Comal River tubing – Texas
If the water level of the Guadalupe River is low, you can enjoy tubing the Comal River. A tubing trip down this Guinness Book World of Records river will take you past shores lined with trees and accelerating tube chutes down clear and cold waters.
The Comal is the shortest river in the world and is famous for its pure, clear 72-degree water.
You can take the trip starting at Comal Springs near Linda Park and float down towards the Guadalupe River in the center of New Braunfels. It’s approximately a 2.5-mile trip, perfect for the whole family, no matter the age.
More info on tubing Comal River
San Marcos River tubing – Texas
If you are looking for a cool tubing place in Austin or the surrounding area, the San Marcos River won’t let you down. It is one of the best rivers to float in Texas, fed cool, fresh, and clean water from the Edwards Aquifer, and maintains a 72-degree temperature year-round.
Various entry and exit spots on the river offer 3 hours of leisurely river action. It’s quite a joy, unlike other tubing places in the state.
It’s perfect for group outings, couples’ retreats, bachelorette, and bachelor parties. Families with kids can float near the town center towards Rio Vista Dam; it’s a short one-hour enjoyable trip with views of lush vegetation.
More info on tubing the San Marcos River
Shenandoah River Tubing – Virginias
If you are ever in the Shenandoah valley, tubing is an activity you should definitely make time for.
The South Fork of the Shenandoah River flows through the valley, creating the perfect conditions to float lazily on your tube and soak in the Blue Ridge Mountains scenery.
You can begin the trip at Bealer’s Ferry and head towards Foster’s, a 3-mile trip that takes 3-4 hours to complete. You’ll enjoy nice riffles and spectacular scenery on your trip.
You can also start at Seekford and head about a mile downstream for thrilling Class II Compton rapids.
More info on Shenandoah River tubing
Wolf River tubing – Wisconsin
Floating down this River in Wisconsin will take you past rows of green pines.
The upper section of the river, in Langlade, is where most tubing activities take place. Here the water drops about 430 feet over a 28-mile stretch making it one of America Midwest’s fastest-flowing rivers.
You can begin at J’s Landing and head towards White Lake. You can also take the stretch from Wolf River Trips and Campground towards New London.
As you head downstream, the river slows down, making for a lazy trip on the cool, clear waters.
More info on tubing Wolf River
Apple River tubing – Wisconsin
The Apple is a popular river located in Wisconsin’s Northwest region, close to the border with Minnesota. It’s known for wild rapids, attracting spirited tubing enthusiasts and families for fun activities and peaceful relaxation.
You can start at Apple River Hide-A-Way and let the currents push you towards Somerset. You could also take the Float Rite Park-Somerset trip or start at Rivers Edge Camping and Resort towards Somerset.
Pack your river float tubes, beverages, food, sunscreen, etc., but avoid styrofoam and plastic. It’s also not a good idea to bring children along on Saturdays in July. The parties can get pretty wild during summer weekends.
More info on tubing the Apple River
Green River tubing – Wyoming, Utah, Colorado
The Green River flows through the Green River Game lands characterized by lush green forests, waterfalls, and numerous hiking trails.
Many tube rental and trip companies near Saluda will be glad to book your whitewater adventure on the river.
Bring your life jackets and prepare for a date with Class I and II rapids. You can also bring kids, just make sure they are 42″ tall, or you’ll be turned away. Alternatively, you could DIY, rent a tube, choose from 3- to 6-mile float trips, and pause at the jump-off rock for rope diving adventures.
More info on Green River tubing
River tubing is a great activity for the whole family. There’s a good chance you can enjoy a fun day of river tubing and cool off from the heat close to where you live or are on vacation. The beautiful views and refreshing water will make your tubing trip one you won’t forget for a long time. I hope you enjoyed this article on the best rivers to go river tubing in the USA, and will visit one of the locations.