The season for this sport is slim, but when the Virgin River’s water temperature and depth are just right, it can be very rewarding to sit back in an inner tube and let the river slowly carry you through a beautiful riparian habitat, often shaded by cottonwood trees. When the river is too low/shallow, you can feel occasional rocks under you, which can be pretty uncomfortable, and you may even be forced to get up and drag your tube a ways until you find a deep enough spot to keep drifting. When the river is too deep/torrential, it is the last place you want to be. It is not safe. If the conditions seem just right but there is a forecast of rain predicted, then it is too dangerous to attempt, as flash floods can occur very quickly, even if it is raining miles upstream, which you may not even notice. Because of this, it is best to use a rental service, because they will not even rent tubes when the water is too low or dangerous. When assured of the river’s safety, this is one of the most relaxing ways to spend the middle of a hot spring day in southern Utah.
There are several places along the Virgin River that are ideal for tubing. Look at the river on a map and plan your route well, so as to not drift too far and end up in Arizona. Plan a pick-up vehicle at a spot where the river is near the road and get to know the spot so you don’t miss it. There are many points where the river is near roads and is easily accessed for launching. Keep in mind that the river’s water level and the river bottom’s terrain can change daily or even quicker. Your safety is your responsibility.
Located just on the edge of Zion National Park, Zion Adventure Company and Zion Outfitters offer tubing only when the water levels are just right and safe. They rent you inner tubes and pick you up downstream, bringing you back to your vehicle after the approximately 2 mile ride. Follow the links below for seasons and pricing.