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Best Rivers for River Tubing in the USA

Do you ever feel like reliving your childhood memories? Spending careless days outdoors and having fun without the daily stress we live with today. What if I told you that you can easily do this? Just get in a tube and relax while floating down a river.

River tubing is quite self-explanatory. You get into a tube and jump in the river (or calmly enter the river, we’re not pushy). Then, sit back and relax and let the current float you down. Usually, groups of people float together. However, if you get up early and head to the river, you might get a chance to float alone. With that said, let’s float into the seven best rivers in the United States to go river tubing.

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1. Delaware River in New Jersey

Delaware River for River Floating in New Jersey USA
Image: Hiking & Biking Trails, 2021

The Delaware River is a large river in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It flows for 454 kilometres along New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. However, the river tubing commences at the Delaware River section. Simply rent a tube from River Country Tube Rentals or bring your own. Choose between a standard tube, a deluxe tube, or the deluxe snuggle tube.

The deluxe tube is equipped with a comfy back seat. Furthermore, the deluxe snuggle tube is designed for two people. So, go on a solo trip or float with a loved one. As a matter of fact, you can float for about two or three hours. Enjoy the scenic river and wind down while peacefully drifting down. Also, remember your sunglasses and swimwear. And yes, I know I’m nagging but always remember your sunscreen!

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2. Santa Fe River in Ginnie Springs, Florida

River Tubing Santa Fe River in Ginnie Springs Florida
Image: Gainesville Sun, 2023

Ginnie Springs is a privately owned nature park in Northern Florida. Moreover, the Santa Fe River runs through it. Besides the peaceful nature surrounding the park, the river is crystal clear. This makes it perfect for tubing. Although it takes about an hour to float from the entrance to the exit, the river is a solid 120 kilometres long.

Here, you can bring any floatation device, you’re set if it can float. There are no limits! If you’re out of floaties or don’t feel like using your inflatable mattress, rentals are available. Take in the tranquil scenery while floating down Santa Fe River. Since the forest is dense, there are all sorts of birds, turtles, trees, and manatees to see. Tubing is truly the perfect relaxing activity in Ginnie Springs. If you’re prone to seasickness and would enjoy a more stable activity, maybe check out incredible places to go hiking in Florida.

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3. Russian River in California

River Tube at Russian River in California
Image: The Woods Guerneville, 2023

The Russian River flows south through the Northern territory of California. Apart from the stunning scenery surrounding the river, it is 185 kilometres long. For this reason, tubing on the Russian River is a popular activity. Consequently, the river can get quite crowded. Therefore, don’t expect solitude.

You can decide between two floating routes. First, try the route that starts at Steelhead Beach and ends at Forestville River Access. Next, start at a float at Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach towards Riverfront Regional Park. Equally important, the second route takes about six hours. So, if you don’t feel like spending the day floating about, don’t attempt this one.

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4. Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas

River tubing on the Comal River in Texas.
Image: New Braunfels Escapes, 2023

Comal River is known as “the longest shortest river in the world”. It was given this title due to it being the shortest accessible river in the state of Texas. It’s only 4 kilometres long (or short). Hire your tube at Texas Tubes. Many options are available concerning the duration of your rental. Rent it for a day or half a day or per hour, it all depends on how much fun you want to have.

Float trips on the Comal River take about three hours depending on the water levels. Just a friendly reminder, the water of Comal River is icy year-round due to the constant flowing. At least you can heat up in the sun while floating.

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5. Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Florida

River tube down the Rainbow River in Florida
Image: itravel, 2023

The Rainbow River is clear, beautiful and colourful. Although the water is crystal blue, the aquatic plants give it its special colours. Furthermore, tubing down the stunning Rainbow River is a wonderful experience. However, it’s not allowed within the headsprings area of the park. Instead, head to the tubing entrance on 180th Avenue in Dunnellon.

Upon arrival, you’re shuttled upstream to the tubing entrance. Thereafter, you enter the Rainbow River to float down 9 kilometres back to your car. In total, the float lasts for about two hours. And again, feel free to hire a tube or bring your own.

6. Deschutes River in Oregon

River tube in Deschutes River is located in Central Oregon
Source: Our Globetrotters, 2022

Deschutes River is located in Central Oregon and eventually meets the Columbia River. It offers beautiful rugged scenery and perfect water conditions for fishing, boating, and tubing. Deschutes is a must-visit river. When floating on the Deschutes, it’s best to get on the river at Riverbend Park and then get off at Drake Park. This route allows you to enjoy an hour of lazy floating.

If an hour is not enough, then continue through the Bend Whitewater Park. Here, you can enter a mildly wild paceway (aka the chute) for the more adventurous floaters. Additionally, tube rentals are available at Tumalo Creek Kayak. Again, rent your tube for either a half or full day.

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7. Boulder Creek in Rollinsville-Longmont, Colorado

River tubing in Boulder Creek in Rollinsville-Longmont, Colorado
Source: All Things Boulder, 2018

Boulder Creek is a 50.5-kilometre-long creek flowing east of the Rocky Mountains. River tubing down Boulder Creek under a canopy of cottonwoods is a must every summer. But just because you’re tubing during summer, it does not mean the water will be warm. With Colorado snowmelt, the stream is always freezing.

Your float will be peaceful or a bit rougher depending on the month. The ride also includes chutes and rapids. At the foot of the Mountain Motel, rent your river running tubes. Due to the rapids, you need a decent flotation device. Alternatively, bring your own and bear the consequences.

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Almost Time to Get Off this Ride

River tubing is truly for everyone. From children to parents and even grandparents. Although it’s a fun and exciting activity, it’s always done at your own risk. So, stay safe, stay groovy, and stay afloat. Thank you for being here.

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