Yampa River Rafting Permits

Summary: Yampa River Tubing is a popular summertime activity in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The river is perfect for tubing, with various sections suitable for families and thrill-seekers alike. This article will discuss what to expect when tubing on the Yampa River, safety precautions, equipment needed, best times to go tubing, and nearby attractions.

1. Yampa River Tubing Overview

The Yampa River offers a unique tubing experience that can’t be found anywhere else. The river winds through the heart of Steamboat Springs, surrounded by stunning mountain views, making it an ideal destination for those seeking outdoor adventure and relaxation. The river is gentle enough for families to enjoy together, while also featuring stretches of rapids for more experienced tubers to navigate.

When tubing the Yampa River, it’s important to note that there are several access points and routes available, ranging from short floats to longer, full-day trips. The most popular starting point is at Dr. Rich Weiss Park, which is conveniently located near downtown Steamboat Springs.

Keep in mind that the river flow can vary due to weather conditions and water levels, so it’s important to check local forecasts and speak with local experts before setting off on your Yampa River tubing adventure.

2. Safety Precautions

As with any water-based activity, safety should always be the top priority. When tubing on the Yampa River, it’s important to wear appropriate clothing and footwear, as well as a properly fitting life jacket. Be sure to also bring plenty of sun protection, such as sunscreen and a hat.

It’s recommended to go tubing with a group for added safety, and to avoid alcohol consumption before or during your tubing trip. Always pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of potential hazards along the river, such as rocks or fallen trees. If you’re unsure about how to safely navigate a certain area, it’s best to exit the river and bypass the section entirely.

Lastly, make sure to follow all local regulations regarding tubing on the Yampa River and be respectful of the environment by picking up any trash and leaving the river cleaner than you found it.

3. Necessary Equipment

One of the great things about tubing on the Yampa River is that minimal equipment is needed. At the most basic level, all you really need is a durable tube and a way to inflate it. It’s recommended to use a tube with a reinforced bottom to help prevent punctures from rocks and debris on the river bed.

You may also want to bring a waterproof bag or container to store your valuables, such as your phone and wallet. A paddle or flotation device can be helpful for maneuvering through rapids, though it’s not always necessary depending on the route you take.

If you don’t have your own tube, there are several rental options available in Steamboat Springs that include tubes, life jackets, and transportation to and from the river access points.

4. Best Times to Go Tubing

The best time to go tubing on the Yampa River is typically during the summer months, when the weather is warm and water levels are safe for tubing. The peak season for tubing on the Yampa River typically runs from late June to early September.

It’s important to note that the river flow and water levels can vary throughout the summer season, so it’s a good idea to check local forecasts and speak with local experts before planning your tubing trip. Mornings and early afternoons can also be a good time to go tubing to avoid the hottest part of the day.

Additionally, weekdays tend to be less crowded on the river than weekends, which can make for a more enjoyable tubing experience overall.

5. Nearby Attractions

Steamboat Springs is known for its abundance of outdoor activities and attractions, so it’s worth extending your trip to explore the area further. After a day of tubing on the Yampa River, head to one of the many hot springs in the area, such as Strawberry Park Hot Springs or Old Town Hot Springs.

To take in the stunning mountain scenery, hop on the Steamboat Gondola for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The Fish Creek Falls trail is also worth exploring for a scenic hike and spectacular waterfall views.

If you’re interested in learning more about the region’s western heritage, stop by the Tread of Pioneers Museum to check out exhibits on Steamboat Springs’ history and culture.


Yampa River Tubing is a fantastic summertime activity that offers fun for all ages and skill levels. With its winding river and breathtaking mountain views, the Yampa River offers a tubing experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Just remember to prioritize safety, bring the right equipment, and check local forecasts before embarking on your tubing adventure. And don’t forget to explore all that Steamboat Springs has to offer, from hot springs to hiking trails, to truly make the most of your trip.

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