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Texas River Tubing

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt 12/19/2017

Texas River Tubing

From Dane Kolbaba

What is Tubing?

Tubing, also called bumper tubing or inner tubing, is a fun and relaxing recreational water activity. With so many rivers in Texas, water tubing is one of the more popular outdoor activities. Since there are no directional maneuvers or any major guidelines that you need to follow, besides avoiding low hanging branches that hang out over the water, tubing is great for all ages. There arenít any oars or other objects you would need to use to float the river and there are a number of different types of tubes to choose from. The standard tube is donut shaped but there are others that have bottoms as well. Choose the one youíre comfortable with for hassle-free fun! You can either rent a tube from a variety of different outfitters in the area or bring your own.

Why Should I Try Tubing?

Besides the enjoyment and relaxation aspect, tubing is also a great way to spend time with family and friends. Along your route, you can stop for a picnic and drinks at any number of pavilions or wherever you like along the way. Take along some fishing poles and you can spend some time fishing as well. While alcohol is allowed on your trip, you will have to make sure it is allowed at any of the picnic areas you choose to stop at.

Where Can I Go Tubing?

In Austin, Texas, you can find many rivers that offer activities like tubing as well as kayaking, rafting, canoeing and stand up paddling. One of the great rivers you can do any of these activities is the San Marcos River. The San Marcos is one of the most beautiful and peaceful rivers in all of Texas. It has the clearest water and an absolutely perfect water temperature of 72 degrees all year round. In fact, the current statistics say the San Marcos has water that is cleaner than most tap water! This is due to the fact that it is spring fed from San Marcos City Park in San Marcos Springs. The river is also a habitat for a large number of endangered species which if you are lucky enough, you will be able to see while floating the river. Keep an eye out for the Texas Blind Salamander and the San Marcos Salamander.

The San Marcos River has an upper and lower portion. The upper portion flows through Texas State University and the city of San Marcos, Texas. This is a very popular recreational area and most of the tubing trips end around the Rio Vista Dam. After a day tubing the beautiful San Marcos River, you will find pavilions for picnics, picnic tables, a childrenís play park, pools to play in as well as the Rio Vista Falls. The lower portion of San Marcos River is also very popular for recreational water sports and allows for longer trips down the river and exciting views of both flora and fauna.  

Another river for tubing near Austin is the Guadalupe River. This is a great place for those who want to spend the day floating as the Guadalupe is the longest river in the area. The river runs from Kerr County to the San Antonio Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. It is divided into two parts, upper and lower. The upper portion of the river starts in the Texas Hill Country and is known for its smaller and faster waters with beautiful limestone banks. It is also very shaded by Pecan and Bald Cypress Trees. The lower Guadalupe begins at the outlet of Canyon Lake but does not feature limestone banks anymore and is slow with hardly any rapids, perfect for a lazy afternoon of floating. There are many cool things to see while tubing or rafting down its waters including log jams and small dams. For more experienced tubers, there are two popular rapids in the Guadalupe known as Devilís Playground Rapids and Bad Rock Rapids. With the Guadalupe, you can choose your own adventure!

The San Marcos and Guadalupe are just two of the many rivers in the Austin,Texas area. Make sure to try out either of these beautiful rivers on your next tubing outing.

Are You Ready to Go Tubing?

Tubing is certainly an activity you should try at least once in your life. Itís a fun experience for the whole family. If you love water and adventure, this recreational activity is one you will surely enjoy.

The author Dane Kolbaba is an owner at Austin Party Ride
Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt