Summer Fun in Boulder: Tubing
As mentioned in previous posts, Colorado is a playground for all things outdoors, including water sports. In Boulder County you can not only find lakes for boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing, paddle-boarding, but also creeks for white-water rafting, and kayaking. With all these options there is also another, a local favorite: tubing in Boulder Creek.
Prime times for tubing in Boulder Creek are April through August and one of the most popular places to start is Eben G. Fine Park located off of CO-119 and Arapahoe. The park itself is a great place to enjoy picnicking, a playground for kids (or kids at heart), large grassy areas for a game of ultimate Frisbee, and a leisurely stroll. Eben G. Fine Park is the farthest upstream for tubers to begin; beyond that are class V rapids that are only appropriate for the experienced rafters and kayakers. You can start farther down at any of the cross streets and float downstream as far down as 55th street on the east side of town.
For the lazy river experience it is best to tube when the river is 40cfs -200cfs (cfs stands for “cubic feet per second” and measures creek conditions). Anything beyond that will most likely send you off your tube, and is suggested for those comfortable with swimming and requires a helmet. The river is closed at 700cfs and beyond.
For those new to tubing, rentals for both single and double tubes are available at Whitewater Tube in Boulder. Rentals are by day from $16- 21 depending the kind of tube, and prices adjust as you add days. Also, a shuttle service is available for $10. As expected, tubes are first come, first serve even with a reservation, so make sure you get there bright and early. Whitewater Tube Co. also sells new and used gear, offers guided trips, and rentals for rafts, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards as well.
Things to keep in mind:
- Restrooms in Eben G. Fine are open year round (though closed during extreme winter weather)
- Parking for tubing: at the parking lot for Eben G. Fine or street parking.
- For creek conditions check out American Whitewater.org.
- For other tips and suggested tubing creeks check out Whitewater Tube’s website.