RIVER TUBING FAQ
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: TUBING
Where do I park?
Golden: This is an outdoor walk-in tube stand. Parking is available across 10th Street from our location at 423 10th St. in the large public lot.
Littleton: Park on Breckenridge Brewery property.
Longmont: Parking available at Saint Vrain Greenway lot off 119.
What should I wear/bring?
Wear a bathing suit, sunscreen, and water shoes. We rent (just $5) and sell water shoes (just $12) so just come on down!
What gear do you rent or sell?
We have water shoes for rent (just $5) or purchase (just $12) as well as sunscreen, sunglasses, sunglass straps, dry bags, water, and waterproof phone cases all for sale for reasonable prices.
What is the float like?
The Clear Creek is an exciting tubing adventure through the whitewater play park in Golden (see video). We now offer tube rentals only or a tube/shuttle package. For the tube/shuttle package we shuttle you to the put-in two times and you get two tube rides down (approximately 2 hours total). OR You rent the tube at our VW “Tube Bus” near the take-out and walk up the river path and choose from a variety of put-ins. The walk up and float back is generally 1 hour. Most people like to do the round-trip tubing adventure 2 or 3 times. Reservations required for the tube/shuttle package and highly recommended for tube rentals as we can sell out on busier, hot days.
The South Platte River is primarily a flat water, more mellow float through a nature preserve with one small to medium-sized kayak chute (rapid) marked clearly by two signal boulders on either side (see video). There are also a few optional larger kayak chutes for more adventurous tubers located after our clearly marked take-out. The float generally takes anywhere from 1 ½ to 3 hours depending upon the time of season, mother nature, and the dam release above our put-in location that day.
Is alcohol allowed on the creek or river?
No. Golden, Littleton, and Longmont have open container laws so no alcohol is allowed in or along the creeks or rivers. BUT…great news! If you are of age, you end at Breckenridge Brewery at our Littleton location and, in Golden or Longmont, there are variety of local breweries for after you are done tubing!
Will I get wet?
Yes, you are tubing on a creek or river. Getting wet is part of the fun!
What happens if I fall out of my tube?
Try to swim to your tube if water is calm. In fast moving water, keep your feet up and forward so you are floating down the river feet first and navigate using your hands as paddles. Do not try to get out of the river in swift current; instead swim to the side once the water is calm. If you can’t get to your tube because it is stuck somewhere hard to get, or it floats down river and you can’t find it by walking the river path, put your own safety first and report where you last saw the tube to Adventure West.
How many people fit in a tube?
Single tubes fit one person and doubles fit two. Only one person per single tube for your safety.
Is it safe for kids/are there age requirements?
Golden: Kids tubing in the Clear Creek should be solid swimmers and we require lifejackets and recommend helmets. Adults should also wear a lifejacket in order to more easily and safely assist their children if they fall out of their tube. Click here to find out the current river flow as we are open for certain age ranges in Golden depending upon flow rate for your safety. When you put safety first, kids are generally grinning after a day of tubing!
Littleton: The South Platte River is controlled by a dam release, which regulates water flow coming down from our mountains and gives us more controlled floating environment even early season. This is a generally a kid-friendly float (with adult supervision) for most of the season as it is mainly flat water, with just one small to medium sized chute/rapid in the middle of the float. Children should be at least 5 years of age and have swimming skills. We offer pool noodles to attach parents to their children so that they stay together as smaller children sometimes have trouble paddling or walking the tube at the take-out by themselves. In the rare situation where the dam release is increased significantly above the normal flow range we will call ahead to any families with younger children who have reservations to offer options.
Do I need a life jacket and helmet; are they required?
Lifejackets are required to be offered in Golden and at higher flow rates, we require them. They are strongly recommended in Littleton and Longmont and are free with rental. Helmets are recommended and free. Children 12 and under must wear a lifejacket.
What happens if I lose my tube or damage it?
We do our best to repair tubes that have small leaks and not charge you, but if you shred the tube (which is really hard to do because they are super durable) or if you lose the tube and we can’t recover it then you are responsible to pay us the replacement fee for that type of tube (single or double). Sometimes, if someone loses a tube, a “tube angel” downriver will return it to us since our phone number is right on it. We love that and we don’t charge you if it’s returned. It is rare that a tube is lost.
Do you provide shuttle transportation?
All three locations have shuttle service and reservations are required. Booking is online right here on our website.
What about inclement weather?
We are generally open rain or shine!
Golden: If Adventure West deems the river or weather conditions to be unfavorable or unsafe for tubing, then we will not rent tubes during that time (e.g. thunder and lightening). We cannot be held responsible if the weather changes after you rent a tube from us; you must use good judgment and keep yourself safe!
Littleton: Unless we contact you ahead of time to cancel your booked trip due to unsafe weather conditions, please show up at your scheduled time rain or shine. Colorado generally has sunny weather with very occasional brief passing rainstorms during the summer season. If there is lightening or thunder at the time of your check-in we will consult radar and talk with you about options such as waiting it out, rebooking, or refunding. No refunds will be given to no-shows if we have not cancelled the trip. If you are floating down the river and a sudden storm rolls in with lightening and/or thunder, exit the river and seek shelter under one of the many of the structures along the way.
What can I bring in my tube?
There is no storage area in a tube. It is best to eat snacks or meals before or after your float so that we don’t pollute the beautiful Clear Creek or South Platte River. We do rent and sell dry bags if there are things you would like to bring along.
How do I steer my tube?
You use your hands to paddle and paddling backwards is much easier and more effective. You have to paddle more to get from the side of the river back into the current, versus paddling a little to stay in the current. If you are going around in circles in an eddy, enjoy the ride and paddle hard as you circle back toward the middle of the stream in order to get back into the current.
Can I bring my dog?
No. We love dogs and want them to stay safe. Tubes don’t hold dogs well and we don’t have lifejackets for them. Also, dogs tend to panic and scratch the people with them.
Do I need a reservation?
Reservations are required for tube/shuttle packages in all 3 locations and reservations are recommended for the tube rental (tube only ticket w/ no shuttle) in Golden. We do accept walk-ups for tube rentals in Golden, but they are first-come first served and your tube is only guaranteed if you reserve ahead.
How long is the trip?
Golden: If rent a tube and go as much or as little as you like. You can work around your schedule that day. For the tube/shuttle package you have a specific start time and it takes about 2 hours to make 2 tube trips that are included on the shuttle package ticket.
Littleton: The float is generally between 1 ½ to 2 1/2 hours, depending upon the dam release that day. Dam release is determined by the CO Division of Water and is subject to change daily.
Longmont: The float is between 1 1/2 and 2 hours depending on flow rate that day.
Are water shoes required?
Water shoes are strongly recommended as the creek and river bottoms have sharp stones, sticks, etc. and the walk up the river path in Golden is on hot pavement. Quote from a customer about our water shoe rental…”Best $5 ever spent!”
Do you have lockers?
Golden: We have lockers for a small fee.
Littleton and Longmont: We have bins for each trip time that we store in our tube trailer and staff is onsite monitoring the check-in area at all times. Store at your own risk. Please leave valuables locked and hidden in your car or at home.
Can I bring a cooler?
No coolers allowed on the creek or rivers per park rules. Coolers tend to spill their contents all over the river when you go over the rapids on the Clear Creek or the medium-sized kayak chute on the South Platte River.
How deep is the water?
The water depth changes throughout the season. Generally, there are places you can easily stand up in slower moving sections of water and the water tends to be deeper (sometimes 6-8 feet) right at the bottom of a rapid.