The Best Rivers to Float in Texas

The Best Rivers to Float in TexasFloating the local river on an inner tube or inflatable raft on a hot summer day is practically a state pastime for Texans. If you're planning the float trip yourself, keep in mind that you will need at least two cars with drivers. One car will be parked at the "put in" spot, or the spot where you will enter the river. Another vehicle must be parked at the "take out" spot, or the place downstream where you will exit the river. If you'd rather have someone else do the planning, you can use an outfitter. An outfitter will supply inner tubes to float on for a rental fee, and will also provide shuttle service. Most of the popular rivers for floating in Texas have outfitting companies nearby to help you plan your float trip. (Pictured: Guadalupe River State Park in Spring Branch, Texas)

Guadalupe River (pictured at the top)

The Guadalupe River flows for 230 miles from south-central Texas, near Kerrville, to the Gulf of Mexico. One of the most popular sections of the Guadalupe for floaters is the "Horseshoe Loop", in the city of Canyon Lake. Enter the loop at the bridge at the intersection of Farm to Market Road 306 and Pecan Street.

The Guadalupe makes a horseshoe shape from this point, which allows you to float the river for over an hour before reaching the convenient exit point at the following bridge over Farm to Market Road 306. The distance from this exit to the entrance point is an easily walkable half of a mile.

Canyon Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
3934 Farm to Market Road 2673
Canyon Lake, TX 78133


Comal River

Float the Comal River for a short and sweet river floating experience. At only two and a half miles long, the Comal is the shortest navigable river in Texas, but it's still a popular water recreation site. The Comal is a tributary of the Guadalupe River. Inner tube floaters, or tubers, usually enter the Comal at Landa Park, in New Braunfels, then exit the river at the last tuber's exit, just before the junction of the Comal and the Guadalupe.

Landa Park
192 Landa Park Drive
New Braunfels, TX 78130

San Marcos River

The spring-fed San Marcos River is also a tributary of the Guadalupe. A popular spot to enter the San Marcos River is at the city park, located behind Strahan Basketball Stadium, at the intersection of Charles Austin Drive and Jowers Road, in San Marcos. After a mile-long float trip, exit the river at the end of Rio Vista Park, after a series of three small waterfall drops.

City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation
San Marcos, TX 78666

Frio River

"Frio" is Spanish for "cold", and the 200 mile long, spring-fed Frio River lives up to its name for refreshing water recreation. Floaters typically access the Frio River from Garner State Park, over 30 miles north of Uvalde, Texas. Floaters can choose to exit the river at Mager's Crossing, one and a half miles downstream, where the Frio River passes under County Road 350.

Garner State Park
234 Rural Route 1050
Concan, TX 78838

Plan Your Texas River Vacation

If you're looking to take a vacation that involves river activities, Texas is a great destination to consider. The rivers discussed here are among the best ones in Texas for floating, but they are not the only options. Whether you choose to visit one (or more!) of these or if you seek out another major river in Texas, you're sure to have an incredible adventure. Learn about camping sites in Texas with river water, explore the state's options for flatwater kayaking or canoeing, and get prepared to go tubing or kayaking in Texas so you'll have all the information you need to plan the perfect river vacation in the Lone Star State. 

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