British Columbians are graced with some of the cleanest, most scenic rivers in all of Canada, if not the entire world. There are many ways to enjoy the magical waters that snake throughout the province, but one that often slips our mind is tubing! You don't need a kayak or canoe to float down some of BC's more leisurely waterways, so when you want to just sit back (perhaps with a beer in your hand) and enjoy the beautiful sunshine overhead as you meander through the forest with your friends, then grab your inflatable and head to one of these rivers for an incredible day of lethargic drifting.
With the amount of awesome rivers in BC, this list could go on forever, but these are some of the more frequented spots, a few of which are somewhat close to Vancouver. Feel free to go explore on your own all the other more hidden watercourses, just be careful of unsuspected rapids.
Don't worry, none of these rivers listed get too rough, so get ready for a relaxing ride this summer at any of these tranquil tubing tributaries:
WARNING: Any river can be dangerous, even if it's lazy. So be careful and get the proper information and supplies before heading out.
Photo cred - @tv4travel
1. Capilano River // North Vancouver
Starting off the list, this river is pretty close to Vancouver, making it a prime choice on a hot summer day when trying to escape the city. There are a few bumpy parts, so maybe skip the drink on this one, but if you're seeking a little more excitement this is the way to go. The journey should take 2 hours and you'll end up in West Van.
2. Cowichan River // Vancouver Island (near Nanaimo)
This is one of the more popular destinations for river tubing in BC and for good reason. There is a great place to rent a tube as well as a shuttle to pick you up after your 2.5 hour float downstream. A few choppy places interrupt the otherwise peaceful journey through some of BC's most pristine scenery.
3. Coquitlam River // Coquitlam
For those not trying to venture too far from Van for a nice day on the water, the Coquitlam River is popular for tubing amongst the locals. It'll be a nice ride, just try to dodge the numerous boulders you may encounter. There are many parks to choose from to start and end your float.
4. Okanagan River Channel // Penticton
Another haven for float seekers. On a nice day, you'll likely have some company on the river, so make it a floating party on what is surely one of the laziest of rivers. Coyote Cruises rents tubes and has a shuttle service for your 2-3 hour journey.
5. Shuswap River // Enderby
This is a nice gentle river most of the summer, but the depth and speed does fluctuate, so time it depending it on your preference. It's deep and wide in most places, making it a great river for swimming as well as tubing. There's lots of entry and exit points.
Photo cred - @mikemhg
6. Similkameen River // Princeton area
Early summer will have the runoff flowing at a more exciting pace, or later in the summer enjoy a calmer float. Either way, the water is gorgeous and there are occasional beaches to breakup the 3-4 hour journey downstream.
7. Vedder River // Chilliwack
This will be a breathtaking rafting ride, but make sure to take it seriously. Though most the river keeps a steadily moderate pace, at times there are some serious rapids. There are multiple places to start and end, so map out the trip before you hit the water. Be safe, have fun and float on!
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