Tubing down the Yampa River in the summer is a quintessential Steamboat Springs activity that must be experienced! This is a favorite way to enjoy a hot summer day for both locals and visitors. Steamboat truly is a river town in the summer, and tubing with a group of friends or family is one of the best ways to enjoy the Yampa! Gently float along the Yampa’s pristine waters and through downtown Steamboat in a comfortable tube while you take in the sights and enjoy splashing in the refreshing water. The float can be as long or as short as you’d like (it typically takes 1-3 hours and it covers a 2-mile stretch of the Yampa), and there are plenty of riverside stops like parks, restaurants, and bars along the way to make it even more fun. The water is quite mellow, making this an ideal family activity. There will be small rapids and some rocks to navigate, making it interesting but still quite easy.
You can drop a car at the end of the float and do a self-guided adventure, but we highly recommend using a local outfitter like Backdoor Sports. They’ll provide everything you need for an enjoyable tubing trip, from quality tubes to transportation logistics so that you can enjoy tubing without any hassle. The cost is $25 per person, and tubing runs from 10:30am to 4pm. Reservations are not required but they are highly recommended, as local outfitters are limited to a certain number of tubers on the river each day.
A Few Things to Consider:
-Shoes are required (no flip flops) and water shoes can be rented from Backdoor Sports
-Please practice leave no trace, by disposing of all garbage at the end of your float. And please do not bring alcohol, dogs, or glass on the river.
-Life jackets are suggested, especially for children
-We recommend straps for sunglasses or prescription eyewear, and make sure to wear a swim suit and/or clothing you don’t mind getting wet in.
-Don’t forget sunscreen! The sun can be very intense at 7,000 feet in elevation.
Whether you’re seeking a relaxing escape on a warm summer day or a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Steamboat Springs, tubing the Yampa offers an idyllic and refreshing way to connect with the the incredible outdoors we are lucky enough to have out our backdoor. You’ll want to do this every time you visit Steamboat!