Summer is coming and living in Boerne gives us many opportunities to partake in activities involving water. We live near several lakes and are a short three hour drive to the coast. But one of the most popular summer water activities is jumping in a tube and floating down a Texas river. To help you navigate the waters, we took a closer look at some of the tubing spots you can go this summer. So grab your cooler, get ready for “tube chutes” and happy tubing!
The Guadalupe River is probably the most popular river to float in Texas; its character changes as the river flow changes with the release rate of water from Canyon Lake. Although the Guadalupe River is sometimes referred as a party river, it is also family friendly because the river is so large making it easy to spread out and find your own private spot while tubing. So take your pick depending on what kind of crowd you are traveling with.
When floating the Guadalupe the best way to get your tube on the water is to use an Outfitter. They will rent you tubes, provide access to the river, and get you back to your car. Basically, show up and you’re on the water. On the other hand, doing it yourself will involve more planning. You’ll have to find river access points and parking and you’ll need to buy your inner tubes and then transport them. If you opt for the easier route, and plan to rent your tubes take Hwy 46 from Boerne, go left on 377 and then another left onto River Road. River Road is packed with places to rent tubes, grab beverages and food, and camp. If in a time crunch, make sure to check on the river levels before jumping into your tube – depending on rain amounts, the float time varies along with your float route. In terms of price, the average cost is around $15-$20 for tubes, plus around $10 for cooler tubes. Some charge for parking.
The Comal River offers the best “know what to expect” when it comes to floating. If you’re looking for a two hour float trip, in cool, clear water, then the Comal is for you. During the weekends in the summer the Comal River can be very crowded, often with a party crowd, so if taking the family opt for a week day. The Comal River is the shortest navigational river in the United States and because it is spring-fed, it retains a year-round temperature of approximately 72 degrees.
The river has three shoots that are mini waterfalls that “shoot” you down the river. At the rivers end, everyone is forced to exit, climb some stairs that lead you to a shuttle stop and you will be brought back to your car. The three top Comal Tube Rental Outfitters are Texas Tubes, Rockin’ R, and Corner Tubes. All provide shuttle service to and from the river as many times as you wish to tube. Tube rental prices are similar to the Guadalupe tube prices.
If floating the Comal doesn’t wear you out, Schlitterbahn, is located within walking distance to the River. Cabins are available to rent along the river if you are interested in making the visit into a mini weekend vacation getaway.
Texas is HOT! And when you need a place to cool off during the summer, there’s no better river than the spring-fed Frio River. The Frio, Spanish for cold, offers the best scenery of all the rivers. The Frio is 47 miles long and has enormous Cypress Tress, cliffs, boulders and clear waters – the hill country at its finest. The Frio is a great tubing river for those that want to get away from the crowds. In general, the Frio is a slow moving river, but there are still some shoots and small rapids. Like the Guadalupe, water levels fluctuate with rain amounts. Floats can be as short as 30 minutes or up to any amount of time. A great place to start is at the South FM 1120 bridge. This is also the recommend floating trip when the river condition is low.
The best places to rent tubes are from Andy’s, Frio River Cabins, Happy Hollow Grocery, and Josh’s.
For the best place to stay check out Neal’s Lodge Campground. Neal’s Swimming Hole, fed with natural spring waters, offers cool crisp Frio River fun even during drought years. Many Cabins are available right on the banks of Neal’s Swimming Hole. You’ll be certain to find the perfect spot along the Frio River with over 70 RV spots, cabins, condos and lodges to choose from.