Nothing spells more fun in Texas than hitting the road and heading out for some river tubing in the Texas hill country. Whether it is the Frio, Nueces, or Sabinal River, it gives you a chance to enjoy a crisp, refreshing dip and gently float down the river while hanging out with friends & family. More importantly, it gives you a chance to enjoy the natural splendor of the hill country in an up close, unique, and personal way.
For first timers, though, it can be a little difficult knowing what you need to make the trip a smashing success. Here are a few tips for someone taking on a tubing trip for the first time:
1. Check the Weather – Nothing will spoil a good time on the river than bad weather. Take the time to check local weather reports online. Depending on where you travel, the local chamber of commerce may have a “weather ticker” available for prospective visitors. Even if the weather does look nice & clear, plan your packing to anticipate some adverse weather. After all, as the saying goes, “In Texas, if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.”
2. Check River Levels – All too often, people assume that if there is a constant, dedicated flow in a river, and while that is true, remember that your in Texas. Scorching heat waves and a lack of rain can make for very low lake and river levels. Low water levels make for a trickling flow, making a tubing trip down the river take much longer than it should. The U.S. Geological Survey has a site link for some of these levels directly on the Uvalde County website for your convenience.
3. Find Out What is Allowed/Not Allowed – When your tubing down the river, you undoubtedly will have coolers with you containing both food and drinks. You want to be sure you are following the rules on what you can have. Research your trip, and find out about regional & state “dos and don’ts.” You’ll be in areas such as Garner State Park, Utopia Park, and the Lost Maples State Natural Area, so having access to these regulations should be relatively easy.
4. Don’t Travel During Peak Times – It is paramount that you find out when peak times are for visitors. While you cannot completely count on perfect solitude on the river, you don’t want to run into “morning gridlock” while sitting in a rubber tube in your bathing suit. Memorial Day weekend, for example, is the unofficial start to summer, so you can expect very large crowds at the river. Moreover, you may be traveling with your family, and though tubing can a great family activity, peak times can often bring non-family groups that may not suit your fancy.
This is your first time river tubing in Texas hill country, so you want to be sure you have a good time and want to go back again. A vacation of any kind, weekend trip or otherwise, is supposed to be a way to leave the worries of the world behind. By taking some time to do some research while planning out your trip, you increase your chance of having a smoother outing and can ultimately have the most fun possible.