Top Ten Most Amazing River Tubing Destinations in The United States

If you have never experienced the way it feels to float down a calm, serene river in the middle of summer with your friends or family, then you are seriously missing out.  Nothing combines both thrill and relaxation like a day of worry-free floating through the great outdoors. 

Below we have listed the ten most amazing river tubing destinations in the US and five honorable mentions. As you plan your trips for this upcoming summer, make it a priority to check out some of these incredible tubing adventures!

Top 10 Places to River Tube in The US

Picking the best places to tube just became easier with this comprehensive list. Pack your cooler, grab your friends, rent an innertube, and head out to one of these ten best tubing destinations in America.

1. Deschutes River, Oregon

The Deschutes River, located in Bend, Oregon, winds through Oregon’s lush, scenic forests. To rent gear, do not head to the river entry point at Riverbend Park. Instead, go to the Park + Float, where you can pick up your gear and leave your car. They have a shuttle that will take you to the entry point and bring you back to your vehicle from Drake Park when you have finished your float. 

At Riverbend Park, you will jump in at a safe, sandy shore. You will need to hop out of the water during your float when you reach the Colorado Avenue Bridge and walk through a tunnel. You put your tubes back in the water on the other side of the bridge and continue your journey. 

2. Little Pigeon River, Tennessee

The Smokey Mountains in Tennessee are one of the most pristine landscapes in America. At the Smoky Mountain River Rat, near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, you can float down two different routes with different difficulty ratings. 

The top section is called the adventure float and offers a fun, rapid-filled float with multiple swimming holes. This is the more exciting of the two floats, and they recommend it for floaters ages six and up. 

The lower route is suitable for the entire family and is a calm, relaxing float that features scenic views and even a rock jump. This float is best suited for ages two and up. You can park your car at the River Rat facility, and they will rent you gear and shuttle you to whichever float you decide to experience!

3. Current River, Missouri

The Current River, in Missouri’s Ozarks region, features a picturesque, leisurely float. Several tubing companies near the Ozark National Scenic Riverways provide a number of different tubing options. You can choose anywhere from a three-mile trip that will take you about three hours to float to an all-day float that allows you to travel down eight miles of river. 

The Current River is also a popular destination for rafting and canoeing if you want to try something other than an innertube. 

4. San Marcos River, Texas

The San Marcos River, located approximately 30 miles from Austin, Texas, provides its best tubing. The river flows through the San Marcos college town’s heart and attracts thousands of visitors each summer to cool off in its 72-degree water. 

Texas State Tubes is a local company that will provide you with all of the rental equipment you need, pick you up after your trip, and take you back to your car. San Marcos Lions Club also has a concession right next to the headwaters of the river. 

5. Portneuf River, Idaho

The Portneuf River is located in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. It was voted USA Today’s Best River for Tubing. Fed by annual snowmelt, this river is a quick-moving, rapid filled ride that your family will love. You can tube the stretch in only 30 minutes, so most people take more than one trip down the river. 

Tubing here is available from mid-May to mid-September. The quick-moving, cold water provides a refreshing and exciting ride for hot summer days.

6. Ichetucknee River, Florida

The Ichetucknee River is in Ichetucknee Springs State Park, home to eight natural springs. This float is lush, and the greenery is breathtaking. On hot, humid summer days, people flock to the river to cool off and relax.

You can either launch your tubes from the north end of the park and float the entirety of the section, taking about three and a half hours in total. You also have the option for a shorter float that takes almost half of the time. For this, you put in at Midpoint Launch or Dampier’s Landing, which sits at the south end of the park. 

The float comes lined with a canopy of oak trees where you will often see people climbing up and jumping into the river. It is nice to pull to the side and spend some time playing in the water during your float. Ichetucknee Springs State Park runs a tube rental with low-priced tube options.

7. Truckee River, Nevada

The Truckee River in Reno, Nevada, is a beautiful snow-melt river running through the Sierra Nevadas. This area is known for some of the best whitewater in the world for adventurers, but the Truckee is a calm and relaxing area to float on a tube. 

Sierra Adventures is a tube rental shop that will pick you up right from your hotel and drop you back off after a full day of floating for a reasonable price. This is perfect for tourists staying in Reno. 

8. Cahaba River

The Cahaba River is in Helena, Alabama. This river is unique because it is home to more freshwater fish species than all of the freshwater fish species found in the entire state of California. This great float is also the longest free-flowing river in the state of Alabama. 

The Cahaba River is also known for its lily blooms, which cover the river banks from mid-May to mid-June. Limestone Park Canoe Rentals conveniently rents out tubes as well as canoes and other boats for your Cahaba River experience.

(Looking for best tube options? Try finding yours at Best River Float Tubes)

9. Provo River

The Provo River is located in Utah, about an hour from Salt Lake City. The river’s headwaters are Washington Lake, which sits in the heart of the Unita Mountains. From here it stretches over 70 miles to Provo city.  As you float the Provo, you will notice beautiful scenery and an array of fishermen since this spot is known for its world-class fishing, too.

Floating the Provo takes about two hours, but timing varies due to the water runoff levels. Runoff River Adventures rents tubes to anyone over the age of 14 between June 1st and September 7th.  High Country Adventure has slightly more expensive rentals but is available from May 1st to September 30th. 

10. Chipola River

The Chipola River is a tributary of the Apalachicola River, about an hour outside of Tallahassee, Florida. This river is often full of students from Florida State University looking for a fun summer party on the water. The river has 63 underground springs that feed the river, and displays rows of mossy oak trees and beautiful limestone caves. 

Honorable Mentions

These five rivers may not have made it on our top 10 list, but they are worth checking out if you have the opportunity!

  • Delaware River: The Delaware River is in Milford, New Jersey. It is open for tubing from May 29th until September 19th in 2021. It is closely accessible if you are visiting New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Also, if you chose to tube with Delaware River Tubing, you get a free BBQ meal at Adventure Island during your tubing.
  • Yampa River: The Yampa River, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is a fun float that can be as long or short as you want. It features small rapids, rock features, and fun waves that the whole family will love. 
  • Potomac River: The Potomac River, in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, is a relaxing way to spend a summer day. The float features a number of island-sized rocks in the river where you can park, sunbathe, and even enjoy a picnic!
  • Shenandoah River: The Shenandoah River is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and Luray, Virginia. The river has two available floats; one is 3 miles and takes between 3 to 4 hours. The other takes up to 5 hours and features deep swimming pools and noteworthy scenery.
  • Niobrara River: The Niobrara River in Nebraska has a 4-hour float that stretches through beautiful scenery and passes the largest waterfall in Nebraska, the Smith Falls waterfall. It is suitable for all ages and alcohol is permitted!

Final Thoughts 

Tubing is one of America’s favorite summer pastimes that can be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart.  When it is hot outside, nothing is better than cooling off and relaxing on some of America’s most breathtaking rivers. 

As we approach those warm summer months, you will often want to refer back to this list of the top 10 most amazing tubing destinations in the United States. Happy floating!

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