5 best rivers for tubing near San Antonio

5 best rivers for floating and fun

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator

Tuber rides down a waterfall on the Guadalupe River, New Braunfels, Texas.

SAN ANTONIO - Tubing on the rivers in and around San Antonio is a Hill Country pastime and a South Texas tradition.

The five best rivers for tubing within driving distance of San Antonio are the Comal, the San Marcos, the Guadalupe, the Medina and the Frio.

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The Comal River is the shortest river in the world at only 2.5 miles long, according to Tubetexas.com.

The Comal River in New Braunfels.

The Comal is spring-fed and stays a constant temperature of approximately 71 degrees. There is a tube chute at the beginning but no rapids or large obstacles to maneuver around, making an easy trip for tubing beginners.

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The San Marcos River is spring-fed and 10 times cleaner than EPA standards for drinking water according to Tubetexas.com. It’s a constant 72 degrees and typically less crowded than the popular Comal River.

San Marcos River. Photo courtesy SMwatershedinitiative.org.

The float for the San Marcos River is about a mile long if you use the paid tubing services that shuttle you back to your car, after your river trip.

Some natives choose to bring their own tubes. If your bring your own gear, you can make the float last a little longer and hike back to your car which takes about 10 minutes.

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The Guadalupe River is the most popular river to float, and it’s constantly changing. The water level can change how the river runs, but crowds still make their way to the river every weekend.

Kayaker on the Guadalupe River. Photo courtesy: Getty Images.

Medina River (Photo Courtesy: txarch.org)

Check online before you go; sometimes heavy rains shut down the rivers because the water is flowing too fast.

The Medina River is another float option for tubers. Check online for river conditions here too, because the water is low when it hasn’t rained.

Frio River, Photo courtesy tpwd.texas.gov

When the water is high, the Medina River is also great for paddling.

The Frio River is great for getting away from crowds. The Frio is 47 miles long and is surrounded by trees, boulders and other lush foliage.

Frio is Spanish for “cold.” This river trip is a little more secluded, 80 miles outside the city of San Antonio.

Check for current river conditions and flow rates here.

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