What You Need to Know About Tubing Boulder Creek

Summer in Boulder is idyllic when soaking in the warm rays of the Front Range and cooling off in the mountain spring water flowing in the Boulder Creek. Few could argue that an afternoon sipping a cold Boulder brewed beer and floating down the creek in a giant rubber donut is hard to beat. Tubing is arguably one of the greatest American summertime party activities in the state.

Before you jump in the water, however, here’s your list of necessary equipment, as well as a few tips for you novice tubers.

Know Before You Go

Prime tubing season runs from May to August, though is dependent on flows in Boulder Creek. During peak runoff – generally May and June and sometimes into July, the water is colder and faster. Later in the summer the creak mellows out and runs at a more relaxed speed.

Before you head out, it’s important to understand the creek flows. Creek flows are measured in cubic feet per second (cfs) and summaries can be found on the City of Boulder’s website. The ideal creek flow range for tubing is 100–200 cfs. Generally, Boulder Creek flows at a rate between 100 and 300 cubic feet per second. Above 200 cfs, conditions get exciting. Once flows exceed 300 cfs, its best to only go if you are an experienced/advanced tuber. Flows of 700 cfs or higher are extremely dangerous, and can be deadly. Stay clear of the creek in those conditions.

Bringing the Right Equipment

Grab a durable flotilla for your white-water adventure. Outdoor adventure retailers such as REI or Bass Pro Shop should have what you’re looking for. Be sure to bring an air pump. You don’t want to get stuck blowing up your tube. By the time you finish it’ll be time to pack up.

Protective footwear is something that often gets forgotten but is so critical when floating down the creek. Appropriate footwear will make wading in the water more comfortable. Outdoor sport shoes are available with soft rubber soles that allow the shoe to conform well to wet ground and slippery rocks. Look for footwear that is geared toward kayaking or paddle boarding.

One of the most important items to bring on your adventure is a life vest. Because the water in Boulder Creek can run rapidly, a floatation device is a smart idea and will allow you to relax and enjoy your day safely.

Local Guides and Resources

To get the most out of your experience, take advantage of local experts at the White Water Tubing Company, located on Spruce Street in Boulder. They offer rentals, sales, repairs, and guided instruction at reasonable prices. This is an especially good idea for first-timers, to get a lay of the land and learn the appropriate methods of navigating the creek.

If you’re looking for outdoor adventure or just love the charm of Boulder, our apartment homes are located in an ideal community with convenient services and amenities to suit your lifestyle. If you’re in the market for a new apartment, check out our Habitat ApartmentsContact us to learn more!

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