Sure, Colorado is famous for its rollicking whitewater. But maybe you prefer your thrill minus the world-class rapids. Or maybe you prefer a mellow float. Here are five options for tubing around the state:
Boulder Creek, Boulder
Tube to Work Day is a thing here. Boulderites keep a close watch on flows, letting them know when the runoff is ripe for action. During ideal months, tubes can run from Eben G. Fine Park for several blocks.
Cache la Poudre River, Fort Collins
On the wilder side, the popular move is to float the gorgeous three-mile stretch through Poudre Canyon starting at Gateway Natural Area. Get safety tips from Poudre Heritage Alliance. The local recommendation on the gentler side: Park at Legacy Park, walk a mile on Poudre Trail to the put-in at Shields Street and enjoy the float through town.
Clear Creek, Golden
Beat the city heat and head to Clear Creek Whitewater Park, a half-hour from Denver. You’ll have to share the water with kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders, who work up their skills through a series of boulders and eddies — which should tell you to keep your head on a swivel, depending on conditions.
Colorado River, Dotsero
Based between Eagle and Glenwood Springs, Turtle Tubing is known for offering a quirky introduction to the float life. One destination of the green shuttle buses: Dotsero Landing, where the mountains loom in clear, refreshing view of the lazy waterway.
San Juan River, Pagosa Springs
Pagosa Outside charges $15 for tubes. From the shop, customers can walk across Main Street and drop into what the outfitter calls the best half-mile of water around. Bonus: riverside hot springs.