Tubing down the Colorado River is a great way to spend a summer day. The river begins in Rocky Mountain National Park before traveling southwest past Kremmling, Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction.
Tubing is NOT RECOMMENDED between Pumphouse Recreation Site (managed by the Bureau of Land Management) and Rancho del Rio (private). There are class II and III rapids, long stretches of flat water without currents, and strong upstream winds every afternoon. It typically takes 4-6 hours to tube from Pumphouse to Radium and 6-8+ hours to tube from Radium to Rancho del Rio.
Best Stretches of River to Tube
These depend on the water level.
- Rancho del Rio (see fee info below) to State Bridge (see fee info below), which takes between 4-6 hours and has class II rapids.
- State Bridge (see fee info below) to Two Bridges (see fee info below), which takes 4-5 hours and has class II rapids.
- Cottonwood Island (BLM, no fee) to Lyons Gulch (BLM, no fee), which takes 2-3 hours and has class II rapids.
- Lyons Gulch (BLM, no fee) to Dotsero Boat Launch (see fee info below), which takes 4-5 hours and has class II rapids.
- Dotsero Boat Launch (see fee info below) to Bair Ranch (BLM, no fee), which takes 6-7 hours and has class II rapids.
- Always wear a Personal Flotation Devise (aka PFD or Life Jacket) on the river
- Always wear shoes! If your tube pops (which happens A LOT) and you end up walking down the side of the river- there are cactus and very sharp rocks.
- Walking on and/or crossing the railroad tracks is illegal and could be deadly
- Taking glass bottles on the river is HIGHLY DISCOURAGED! Please buy beverages in cans or transfer liquids to plastic bottles (if you must take glass bottles, wrap them in duct tape in case they break in or near the river).
- Bringing warm, non-cotton clothing and a rain jacket in a dry bag is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Colorado often gets afternoon rain showers, bringing temperatures from the high 80s and 90s to the low 40s and 50s.
- Bring a paddle for strong winds and/or moving away from dangerous situations.
- Never leave trash or human waste in or near the river. Pack it in, Pack it out.
- Know what class rapids are on the stretch of river you are planning on tubing, know how long it COULD take you, know if you can or cannot walk out of areas, know how high/low the water level is, and know how cold the water is!
- Call the BLM Kremmling Field Office for questions about the river between Pumphouse and State Bridge at (970) 724-3000 and the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office for questions between State Bridge and Dotsero at (970) 876-9000.
- Pumphouse (BLM), Radium (BLM), State Bridge (Eagle County), Two Bridges (Eagle County), and Dotsero (Eagle County) are $5 per vehicle/per day or $20 for a seasons pass. Seasons passes can be purchased via phone by call the BLM Kremmling Field Office at (970) 724-3000 M-F from 8am to 4:30pm or purchased at the field office in Kremmling. Passes for the following summer go on sale on December 1st.
- Rancho del Rio is privately owned and is $1 per person to park/launch/take-out.
- More info about the BLM and Eagle County sites can be found on blm.gov/…
Points of Interest
- Dotsero – Park one car here or at State Bridge. Turtle Tubing meets here and provides guided tubing trips.
- State Bridge – A concert venue and lodge with a restaurant, cabins, general store, live music, and river adventures. A nice short float is from Rancho Del Rio to here.
- Rancho Del Rio – A tiny rafting village on the Colorado River upstream from State Bridge. They offer whitewater rafting trips and shuttles for tubers. There is also food, beer, camping, lodging and gas.
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