IN HILL COUNTRY
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Cofran's Texas . . .
Hill Country Portal
A Powerful Information Database & Gateway Service for the Texas Hill Country
Focus Topic Profile For:
TUBING, PADDLING & CAMPING
IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY
Have fun, be smart, safe & enjoy!
Experience the thrills of tubing and paddling on the our many fun Hill Country rivers. Outfitters on the Guadalupe, Comal and other rivers are ready and waiting to provide you with rental of everything you need for your river adventure. Most provide parking and shuttle transportation as well. Many companies provide some or all of the typical services: rental of tubes, rafts, canoes, kayaks, lodging, camping, RV sites, swimming, fishing, camp stores & accessories, restaurant services, and bars & entertainment. Group rates are often available with advance arrangements.
Get ready for the great outdoors when you do come to the river. If you're wanting a fun experience with your friends, you can camp at one of the many beautiful campgrounds and lodging establishments on each river. On this focus web page, review the type of accommodations available on the river of your interest, including dry tent camping, screened shelters, cottages, cabins, condos, houses and RV spaces. And don't forget to check out the shower facilities! Most outfitters allow floats with rented equipment from about 9a to 7p. Typical trips run from 2 to 8 hours & depend on the river flow rate and locations. Some outfitters offer tubing after dark. Some campgrounds do not allow you to bring your own river equipment.
There are three kinds of river trips or outings:
- OUTFITTER-BASED: A float (tube/canoe/kayak/raft) trip that is serviced by a paid outfitter who transports (shuttle service) you between their entry/exit points and rents float-related equipment to you. They may also offer a host of related services, including supplies, ice, accessories, food, lodging, etc. Guide services can be arranged with most outfitters. These trips are almost always on the major rivers, including the Guadalupe, Comal, South Llano, Frio and Nueces, with special arrangements for other waterways.
- SELF-DIRECTED: A trip that is free-form, self-guided and self-transported. Concern here is finding legal entry/exit points ("put-ins" & "take-outs"), knowledge of the river (including its perils), and arranging transportation. These trips can be on the major rivers listed above, along side outfitter handled trippers, or on the many other smaller creeks and waterways throughout the Hill Country.
- COMBINATION: A mix of equipment (yours or theirs), guides, shuttle services and camping.
Also see our related Hill Country Portal focus pages. The detailed listings there present many lodging establishments and campgrounds that are on floatable waterways and who offer tubes, canoes, kayaks, and boats for your use, although typically on a less formal basis than large-scale outfitters, including loaning the equipment as part of your nightly resort or campground rate.
As an overview to tubing and paddling in the area, there are a number of major, scenic rivers in the Hill Country, including the Blanco, Comal, Frio, Guadalupe, Medina, Nueces, Pedernales, San Marcos, San Saba, South Llano. There are many spring-fed creeks and drainage streams that in turn feed these rivers, yet few are suitable for padding - they are more suitable for tubing. Our major rivers are generally clean, fun rivers when not muddy from heavy rainfall and/or debris from flood-stage conditions. During the hot, dry days of summer the river flow rates slow appreciably, and may not be suitable for tubing, let alone kayaking. Tubing and padding on these waterways are most frequent and best from early spring through July, then the slower flow rate days of August and September, with fall outings reserved for the cold-blooded, braver enthusiasts. With cold-weather gear, the winter can be an uncrowded and peaceful adventure. Many of these rivers are "pool and drop", meaning they have flat water from impoundments (dams), and may be great for wadding and swimming, but they are too inconvenient for serious padding (i.e., requires portage around the dams). The same applies to the upper areas of the larger rivers. These flat areas are common around the metropolitan areas (e.g., Kerrville) and summer camp areas (e.g., in Hunt and Ingram), all designed to contain the water for local fun (wading, swimming, fishing). In contrast, with higher flow rates from heavier rains or dam releases, in the un-impounded areas these rivers can become challenging and even dangerous in the rapids and falls with Class II and III ratings. Best to seek local, expert knowledge about river conditions before embarking.
The Guadalupe is the best known for tubing and the most popular for tubing and paddling. The scenic beauty of these waterways, including magnificent cliff views, giant Cypress trees, lush vegetation, limestone boulders, and refreshing, crystal-clear water make for compelling adventures in the hot summers days of the Hill Country. The Upper Guadalupe (above Canyon Dam) is free-flowing and dependent on the forces of nature (rainfall) to produce the flow rate. In contrast, the Lower Guadalupe (below Canyon Dam) is almost entirely regulated by humans controlling the water release gates at the bottom of the lake. In either case, don't hesitate to call ahead to see about local flow rates and river dangers.
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FROM CANYON LAKE TO
NORTH OF THE GRUENE BRIDGE & NEW BRAUNFELS
General Information About Lower Guadalupe River Tubing:
The famous Guadalupe River’s popular tubing stretch (called "lower river") begins at Canyon Lake Dam and runs 17 miles south into the Gruene and New Braunfels areas. Enjoy tubing, rafting, swimming, snorkeling, fishing and more. The releases from the Dam can be anything between a trickle and a raging torrent, so be sure to check the flow rate before you go (see Flow Rates below).
The water is pretty chilly here because it is coming from the bottom of the relatively deep Canyon Lake reservoir. The deep, cold waters provide suitable conditions to allow trout to inhabit this section of the river, and TPWD occasionally stocks this river with trout. This is a good river to paddle and you can avoid tubers when the flows are at least 1,200 cfs. Consider a guided trip at high flow rate areas.
If you will be paddling or tubing through Huaco Springs Rapids and Slumber Falls (or any stretch of the river you are not familiar with) be sure to ask outfitters or campground owners for tips as these spots on the river can be tricky at times. This is one of the most challenging runs of the river for tubing so if you are concerned with crashing into river rocks, this is not the best place to tube. Consider a guided raft or kayak trip when the Corps opens the gates at Canyon Dam for those 4,000 to 5,000 cfs releases that can be exciting but dangerous.
For most all campgrounds on River Road, you need to arrive early to get a preferred campsite under the trees and next to the water. Most folks try to get right at the river bank and furthest away from the road. Since the campsites are so close together, some people rent more than one campsite just to have some elbow room. Consider having someone in your group come a day early to stake out the best site.
The River Rules: Water Oriented Recreation District (W.O.R.D): Rules
New Braunfels Container Law: Does NOT affect the lower part of the river that is above the New Braunfels city limits (the boundary is at the Gruene Bridge). The new law applies only within the city limits of New Braunfels.
Private Property: All properties along the Guadalupe River on River Road are privately-owned, either by homeowners or river outfitters. There is no public access/exit on River Road (this includes outfitters take-outs/put-ins).
Portal City Profiles: See our corresponding detailed city profile pages that provide listings for lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc., for: New Braunfels, Gruene, and Canyon Lake Area
2ND CROSSING CAMP: 830-620-4036; 6515 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132-3118. www.2ndcrossingcamp.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts), campground (RV sites), hot showers, Guadalupe General Store; fishing, swimming. Located upstream from Stairstep Rapids, Huaco Springs Rapids and Slumber Falls.
ABBOTT’S CAMPGROUND: 830-964-2425; 546 Riverside Path, Canyon Lake, TX 78133. www.abbottsriver.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, kayaks), campground (RV sites), hot showers, fishing, swimming. Located near the dam
AMIGO MEL'S: 830-627-7238; River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.amigomelsrivertrips.com/amigo at River Road Ice House, located at the "Y" on the S end of the river. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, canoes)
ANDY'S RIVER TOOBS & HORSESHOE GRILL: 830-907-3009; FM 306 & FM 2673, Canyon Lake, TX 78133. www.andysrivertoobs.com. On Guadalupe River, waterfront, outfitter (tubes, coolers), shuttle service. Located just S of Canyon Lake on Horseshoe Loop
ARMADILLO TUBES: 830-226-7209; 145 FM 2673, Canyon Lake, TX 78133. www.ArmadilloTubes.com. On Guadalupe River (Horseshoe Loop area), waterfront, outfitter (tubes, coolers), shuttle service. Hot food & convenience store walking distance with Lodging and Camping nearby.
BEZDEK'S RENTALS: 830-964-2244; 830-885-7106; 7308 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.bezdeksrentals.com. North of New Braunfels between the 2nd and 3rd crossings of the Guadalupe River. Outfitter (tubes, rafts, canoes, life jackets), shuttle service, campground (tents), hot showers, store, deck. This is a popular rental place because all float rides from here go through the Chute (a bypass of one of the local dams, #5).
BILLY GOAT’S GRUFF: 830-643-4146; 8570 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.billy-goats-gruff.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts), shuttle service, campground (tents), hot showers, cabins, store. Located between the 2nd and 3rd crossings on River Rd N of New Braunfels.
CAMP HUACO SPRINGS: 888-462-2276; 830-625-5411; 4150 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.camphuacosprings.com. On Guadalupe River, waterfront), outfitter (tubes, rafts), campground (tents, cabins, RV sites), hot showers, store, fishing, wading and swimming (but be careful not to be swept downriver to the falls and rapids). Located at First Crossing on the river, just N of New Braunfels. Has 30 acres and about a mile of riverfront. The reach of the river adjacent to the campground contains Huaco Rapids and Slumber Falls – two of the most fun areas on the Lower river. At the furthest part of the campground located upstream you could put in the kayaks for a 6 mile paddle down this pretty stretch of the river to Cypress Bend Park, but at less than 1,000 cfs there could be lots of tubes in the river. If you do put in the kayaks up by the crossing that will allow you to paddle through Huaco and Slumber — be careful. If you will be tubing down this stretch be sure to ask the folks at the office for some tips about how to avoid getting smashed and thrown from your tube at the rapids.
FELGER TUBE RENTAL: 830-625-4003; 161 S Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130. Outfitter (tubes)
GARDO’S CAMPING AND TUBE RENTAL: 830-204-3500; 9440 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.gardos.us. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts), campground (tent, RV sites, house), swimming, fishing. Located between the 2nd and 3rd crossings of River Rd upstream of the Chute.
GILLIGAN'S ISLAND: 830-964-2456; 9360 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.gilligansislandnb.com. Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts), campground (tents, RV sites), cabins, showers, parking, shuttles. River frontage. Between the 2nd and 3rd crossings on River Rd upstream from the chute at Dam #5.
GOOD TIMES CAMPGROUND: 830-964-3790; 9300 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.geocities.com/goodtime_campground/index.html. On Guadalupe River, between the 2nd and 3rd crossings of the river N of New Braunfels, upstream from the chute at Dam #5. Campground (tents, RV sites), outfitter (tubes, rafts), swimming, cliff views, snack shack, live music.
GRUENE RIVER COMPANY: 830-625-2800; 1404 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.tubing.com. Located in Gruenem and provides rafting, tubing, outfitter (tubes, kayaks) services for entire Guadalupe River.
JERRY'S RENTALS & CAMPGROUND: 830-625-2036; 4970 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.jerrysrentals.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts), shuttle service, campground (tents, small RV sites), hot showers, store. Located at 1st crossing on River Rd N of New Braunfels.
KL RANCH CAMP CLIFFSIDE: 830-626-3663; 5300 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.KLRanchCliffside.com. Offers camping, tube rentals, camp store, a shuttle service.
KL RANCH CAMP: 830-625-1177; 5455 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.kl-river.com. On Guadalupe River, between the 1st and 2nd crossings of the river N of New Braunfels, upstream from Stairstep Rapids, Huaco Springs Rapids and Slumber Falls. Campground (tents, RV sites), outfitter (tubes), cliff views, swimming, day use & group events. No shuttles.
LAZY L & L CAMPGROUND: 830-964-3455; 11699 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.lazylandl.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, group rates), campground (tents, RV sites, cabins), store, live music, fishing. Located on 25 acres between the 3rd and 4th crossings of River Rd on the Guadalupe River N of New Braunfels, upstream of the Devil’s Playground, Bad Rock Rapid and Mountain View Rapid. ¾ mile of river frontage. Good swimming and tubing, but can be very crowded. Impressive bluffs.
LITTLE PONDEROSA CAMPGROUND: 830-964-3202; 2001 Ponderosa Dr, off River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. Located just S of 4th Crossing on River Rd and upstream of the Devil’s Playground, Bad Rock Rapid and Mountain View Rapid. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts kayaks), swimming.
LONE STAR FLOAT HOUSE & GRILL: 830-907-3866; 7430 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.lonestarfloathouse.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, group rates), catering for large groups; hamburgers, live music Sunday nights. Located between the 2nd and 3rd crossings.
MARICOPA RIVER RIDES: 800-460-8891; 12381 FM 306, Sattler, TX. www.texhillcntry.com/river-road/maricopa.html. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, canoe, kayak), campground (tents, RV sites), Maricopa Riverside Lodge, Goofy's Dive Shop. You can rent here and use at the Horseshoe even if you are not staying at Maricopa. Located upstream of the Whitewater Rapids, and just N of intersection of FM 306 and FM 2673.
MOUNTAIN BREEZE CAMP: 830-964-2484; 201 Mountain Breeze Camp Rd, Canyon Lake, TX 78130. www.mountainbreezecamp.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, kayaks), campground (tents, RV sites), cabins, bar & grill, hot showers, swimming, fishing. No container restrictions. Limestone cliffs and hills. Located between the 2nd and 3rd crossings of the river N of New Braunfels and upstream from Dam #5 (aka "the chute"). This section of the river is popular for tubing because of the chute and lack of big rapids during average flows.
O’HENRY’S HIDEAWAY: 830-964-4443; 8511 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.ohenryshideaway.com. Outfitter (tubes, rafts), campground (65 sites, tents, RV), swimming. Located on between the 2nd and 3rd crossings close to a store and upstream from Dam #5 (aka "the chute").
THE ORIGINAL TUBE HAUS: 830-964-3011; 12120 FM 306, Canyon Lake, TX 78133. www.tubehaus.com. Outfitter (tubes). Located near Sattler, at the Horseshoe on FM 306 upstream of the Whitewater Rapids, and close to the 2nd FM 306 crossing.
RAINBOW CAMP: 830-964-4447; 8690 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.rainbowcamp.us. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (rafts, tubes), campground (tents, RV sites, house), swimming, store. Located between 2nd and 3rd crossings of the river N of New Braunfels and upstream from Dam #5 (aka "the chute").
RIO RAFT & RESORT: 877-746-7238; 14130 River Rd, Sattler, TX 78132. www.rioraft.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, kayaks), campground (tents, cottages, RV sites), store, swimming. Located above the 4th crossing just S of Sattler and upstream of Dam #4, S Turn Rapids, and Ponderosa Ripple.
RIVERBANK OUTFITTERS: 830-625-4928; 6000 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. Outfitter (tubes). www.guadaluperafting.com. Located between the 1st and 2nd crossings on the river N of City of New Braunfels.
RIVER ROAD CAMP: 830-907-2687; 830-625-5004; 6365 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.riverroadcamp.com. Outfitter (tubes, rafts, kayaks), campsites, swimming. Located between 1st and 2nd crossings N of New Braunfels and upstream from the Stairstep Rapids, Huaco Springs Rapids and Slumber Falls.
RIVER SPORTS TUBES: 830-964-2450; 12034 FM 306, Canyon Lake, TX 78133. www.riversportstubes.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, coolers, life jackets), shuttle services. 3 floats to choose from, all on the Guadalupe's "Horseshoe Loop"
ROCKIN' R: HQ: 800-533-5628; 1405 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.rockinr.com. Interactive River Map. Toobs, rafts, SUP’s, transportation
- Camp Huaco Springs Camping and Rentals: 4484 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. Overnight camping, RV’s, equipment rental
- Chute House Campground: 8664 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. Camping. Tube the Chute. Outfitter (tubes, rafts, canoes, kayaks, coolers), shuttle services, guided trips, campground. Located mid-way between Canyon Lake Dam and New Braunfels.
ROY'S RENTALS & CAMPGROUND: 830-964-3721; 6530 River Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78132. www.roysrentals.com. Outfitter (tubes, rafts, canoes, kayaks,), campground (tents, RV sites), swimming. Located at the 2nd crossing N of New Braunfels and upstream from Stairstep Rapids, Huaco Springs Rapids and Slumber Falls.
SHANTY TUBES: 830-964-3990; 12120 FM 306, Sattler, TX 78133. www.shantytubes.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, canoes, kayaks, coolers), shuttle services, camping, accessories. Located at the Horseshoe Loop near Canyon Lake Dam and upstream of the Whitewater Rapids.
TUBE HAUS: 830-964-3011; 12454 FM 306, Canyon Lake, TX 78133. www.tubehaus.com. Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, coolers, life jackets), shuttle services.
WHITEWATER SPORTS: 830-964-3800; 11860 FM 306, Sattler, TX 78132. www.floattheguadalupe.com. Guadalupe River, campground (tents, Screened shelters, cabins), outfitter (tubes, canoes, rafts, coolers), shuttle services, beer garden, swimming, trout fishing. Located at Horseshoe Loop where 306 intersects with 2673, on 75-acres with 1/2 mile of river frontage, upstream of Dam #2 and Dam #3.
ON THE LOWER GUADALUPE RIVER
SOUTH OF THE GRUENE BRIDGE
& WITHIN NEW BRAUNFELS CITY LIMITS
General Information About Guadalupe River Tubing Inside City of New Braunfels:
This section of the Guadalupe River begins at Gruene and runs through downtown New Braunfels. Enjoy tubing, rafting, swimming, snorkeling, fishing and more.
The City Tube Chute is a water slide carved into the side of the City’s dam on the Comal River. It diverts tubers around the dam as they float the river. It is an exhilarating ride that attracts tubers from all around the area and is the longest of its kind in the world. Tube rentals and personal flotation devices available. See below for more information.
New Braunfels Container Law: DOES apply in this part of the river that is within the New Braunfels city limits (the boundary is at the Gruene Bridge). Aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and other disposable container/packaging items for food or drink are not allowed on the Comal River within the New Braunfels city limits. What is banned are factory-filled food and beverage containers, not the alcoholic liquid beverage contained therein. Tubers wishing to bring alcohol onto the river will first need to transfer their beverage liquid into a personal, reusable container. See full list of rules at city web site: www.ci.new-braunfels.tx.us/index.aspx?NID=198
Portal City Profiles: See our corresponding detailed city profile pages that provide listings for lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc., for: New Braunfels, and Gruene
CHUCK’S TUBES: 830-625-3591; 493 N Market St, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.chuckstubes.com. Outfitter (tubes), shuttle service. Located close to the main plaza in town.
CITY TUBE CHUTE: 830-608-2166; 100 Leibscher Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.ci.new-braunfels.tx.us/index.aspx?nid=391. Outfitter (tubes, other flotation devices). This is a water slide carved into the side of the City’s dam on the Comal River. It diverts tubers around the dam as they float the river. It is an exhilarating ride that attracts tubers from all around the area and is the longest of its kind in the world. Operated by the city.
DOUBLE ROCKIN R CAMPING & RENTALS: 888-462-2676; 1321 River Terrace, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.rockinr.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, canoes, kayaks, coolers), shuttle services, guided trips, campground. Located just N of New Braunfels off of 337 on the right when you are heading to the river. The float route is within the city limits, so the City rules apply.
NB SUP TEXAS RIVER SPORT: 830-660-9899; 211 W Lincoln St, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.supnb.com. Stand up paddleboarding on Comal and Guadalupe rivers
ROCKIN R - GRUENE: 830-629-9999; 1405 Gruene Rd, Gruene, TX 78130. www.rockinr.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter (tubes, rafts, canoes), shuttle service, guided trips
WITHIN NEW BRAUNFELS CITY LIMITS
General Information About Comal River Tubing:
Just under 3 miles in length, the Comal River begins and ends near downtown New Braunfels. The source of the Comal River begins from Comal Springs, which consists of many small springs located in and around Landa Park and Landa Lake. The springs form the Comal River, which eventually joins the Guadalupe River in the heart of downtown New Braunfels. The Comal River is popular for tubing and swimming. The Comal River features one of the largest collections of springs in Texas with an approximate 8 million gallons of water consistently flowing out of the springs every hour. The water is pure and sparkling clear and maintains a relatively constant temperature of about 72 degrees all year. Many local residents swim in the Comal River year round. It is the shortest river in the world and became famous when it was featured by Ripley's Believe It or Not.
While great for tubing, this is not a rafting river. It is easy, slow, and not too cold. There are plenty of wide easy stretches in the river and the water clarity is great. The river is a less intensive float compared to the Guadalupe. Besides the single tube chute, there are no other rapids, boulders, or obstacles on the river. There are several outfitters for the Comal, located off Common Street in New Braunfels. The Comal river is a very constant level. It is fed by springs that are very reliable. During major drought, such as in 2009, the river went down by a foot or two, but was never in danger of drying up, and never any walking. Heavy rains can raise levels and thus concerns for flood-stage conditions.
NEW BRAUNFELS CONTAINER LAW: This law DOES apply in this part of the river that is within the New Braunfels city limits (the boundary is at the Gruene Bridge). Aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and other disposable container/packaging items for food or drink are not allowed on the Comal River within the New Braunfels city limits. What is banned are factory-filled food and beverage containers, not the alcoholic liquid beverage contained therein. Tubers wishing to bring alcohol onto the river will first need to transfer their beverage liquid into a personal, reusable container. See full list of rules at city web site: Law
Due to safety concerns, tubes over 5 ft in diameter are NOT allowed on the Comal River.
The City offers free parking at the public entrance to the river. So, if you bring your own tubes or if you can fit your rented tubes in or on your vehicle, you can park for free. At the end of your float, you walk back about 2 city blocks back to your car. Keep in mind that shuttle services are provided by a private company and charges $6 per person for round trip shuttle service.
All outfitters drop you off at the Public Entrance to the river just upstream of the "Tube Chute", and you can walk upstream even further on a sidewalk to achieve a longer ride downstream.
Float trips on the Comal run about 1 hr 45 min to 2 hrs depending on how many people are in the river. But, if you stop to hang out or swim, it will add to that time.
Included in your rental fee is a $1.25 river management fee the outfitter pays to the City of New Braunfels for each tube renter.
Live Web Cam at Comal Tubes on Comal River: Cam
See all of our web cams at: Web Cams
Portal City Profiles: See our corresponding detailed city profile pages that provide listings for lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc., for: New Braunfels and Canyon Lake Area
COMAL TUBES: 830-387-4408; 664 S Seguin Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.comaltubes.com. On Comal River, outfitter (tubes, kayaks, floating ice chests), shuttle service, open year round.
CORNER TUBES: 830-626-6687; 120 S Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.cornertubes.com. On Comal River. outfitter (tubes, coolers, vests), shuttle service.
LANDA FALLS TUBE RENTAL: 830-627-1440; 178 Landa Park Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.landafalls.com. On Comal River, located on the Wurstfest grounds, outfitter (tubes). They have the longest float on the river, and a relatively flat ride, so it is a great place for young kids.
LANDA RIVER TRIPS: 830-625-5889; 187 Meusebach St, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.lrttubing.com. On Comal River, outfitter (tubes, coolers), shuttle service, parking.
LANDA RV PARK & CAMPGROUND: 830-625-1211; 565 N Market St, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.landarv.com. On Comal River, located across the stream from Wursthalle. Campground (tents, RV sites), floating, swimming. Note, there are no other private campgrounds along the short shore of the Comal
NB SUP TEXAS RIVER SPORT: 830-660-9899; 211 W Lincoln St, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.supnb.com. Stand up paddleboarding on Comal and Guadalupe rivers
ROCKIN R ON THE COMAL: 830-620-6262; 193 S Liberty, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.comalrockinr.com. On Comal River, outfitter (tubes, rafts), store
TEXAS TUBES: 830-626-9900; 250 Meusebach, New Braunfels, TX 78130. www.texastubes.com. On Comal River, outfitter (tubes, coolers), shuttle service
JUNE & AUGUST - NIGHT TUBING & COOKOUT ON THE COMAL RIVER: New Braunfels, at Texas Tubes, 250 Meusebach Ave. 6p-11p. www.TexasNightFloat.com. Join us for a moonlight tubing trip on the Comal River. If the sky is clear we should have a nice moon as it will be full on 8/31. Regardless, the lights of New Braunfels provide plenty of visibility if it is cloudy. The Comal River, at about 2 1/2 miles in length, is claimed to be the shortest river in the world. It is entirely within the city limits of New Braunfels until it joins the Guadalupe River just upstream from IH-35. It has a year-round temperature of 72 degrees, and is quite comfortable on a hot Texas Summer evening. Included in the price is tube rental, shuttle, dinner and a glow necklace. We will be serving hamburgers (and veggie burgers), hot dogs, and will have lots of chips and dips, veggie & fruit trays, etc, as well as a keg of Alamo Ale, soft drinks and Kangen Water. $20 in Advance, $25 at the event. Contact: Dirk Davidek, 210-872-9949
IN THE SPRING BRANCH & HIGHWAY 281 & STATE PARK AREA
General Information About Upper Guadalupe River Tubing:
The Upper Guadalupe River is NOT affected by Canyon Lake. The Upper River is affected by rainfall only.
Outfitters generally offer trips on the Upper Guadalupe River (above Canyon Lake) from FM 3351 (south of Kendalia Kendalia) to Rebecca Creek Road. This 23-mile stretch of river has several Class I & II rapids and waterfalls. The water here is about 15 degrees warmer than in the lower river, which gets its colder water from the release tubes at the bottom of the dam.
There are no alcohol, cooler, or container restrictions on this part of the river.
Portal City Profiles: See our corresponding detailed city profile pages that provide listings for lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc., for: Guadalupe River State Park (see Parks), Spring Branch and Canyon Lake Area
BIGFOOT CANOES: 830-885-7106; 701 Weidner (off FM 311), Spring Branch, TX 78070. www.bigfootcanoes.com. Outfitters (canoes, sit-on-top kayaks, inflatable kayaks, rafts, tubes), shuttle service, campground (tents with minimal facilities), swimming. Located approximately 5.5 miles downstream from Specht’s Crossing and approximately 4 miles upstream from Rebecca Creek Rd. The portions of the river immediately upstream are good for paddling but be sure to ask about the chute just before 311. The more exciting run is located downstream where you can paddle Mueller Falls and Rust Falls before taking out at Rebecca Creek Rd. Best to check on river conditions at those falls before going for a paddle as lots of folks crash at Mueller and many, many folks crash at the horseshoe portion of Rust.
GUADALUPE CANOE LIVERY: 830-885-4671; 8195 Hwy 281 N & Guadalupe River Steel Bridge, Spring Branch, TX 78070. www.guadalupecanoelivery.com. Guadalupe River, outfitters (canoe, raft, kayak, tubes), shuttle service, campground (tent, RV), hot showers, store, swimming, fishing. 4 miles N of Hwy 46.
GUADALUPE CANOE & CAMPING/TEXAS RIVERBED: 830-885-7666; 8545 Hwy 281 N, Spring Branch, TX 78070. www.guadalupecanoe.com. On Guadalupe River, outfitter, (canoe, kayak, raft, tubes), shuttle service, campsites (tents, RV), cabins, swimming, music venue/amphitheater with live entertainment. Overnight trips by reservation. You can use this for a take out for a short 4 mile paddle trip down from Nichol’s Landing or as a put in point for a very fun 6 mile trip down to Rebecca Creek Road. Be sure to ask for tips as to how to stay in your boat at Mueller Falls and Rust Falls if you will be heading downstream. There are chutes to the left of both of the falls if that suits you. Located 1/4 mile north of the Guadalupe River Bridge on Hwy 281.
NICHOL’S LANDING PADDLING TRAIL: TPWD. This 9.9 mile reach of the Guadalupe River in Comal County is lined with an abundance of mature trees and a spectacular mix of limestone cliffs and shelves. Paddlers will enjoy an exciting 3-6 hour ride on a variety of rapids between gentle stretches. Self-guided.
ON THE WESTERN SECTION OF THE UPPER GUADALUPE RIVER
General Information About Western Guadalupe River Tubing:
The western section (technically still the "Upper") of the Guadalupe river runs downstream from the headwaters near Hunt, and through Ingram, Kerrville, Comfort, Bergheim, and Guadalupe River State Park before reaching Spring Branch and the Hwy 281 intersection (and on through the west Canyon Lake area and into the Canyon Lake.)
There are fewer outfitters in this region of the Guadalupe River, although it is certainly as beautiful and exciting as an adventure river.
Note: There are many dams (impoundments) in this stretch of the Upper Guadalupe River, particularly in the Kerrville area. Water conditions change by season. Whitewater paddling is available downstream from Kerrville.
There are no alcohol, cooler, or container restrictions on this part of the river.
Portal City Profiles: See our corresponding detailed city profile pages that provide listings for lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc., for: Bergheim, Center Point, Kerrville, Waring
BERGHEIM CAMPGROUND: 830-336-2235; 103 White Water Rd (at FM 3351), Bergheim, TX 78006. www.bergheimcampground.com. On the Upper Guadalupe River north of Bergheim and immediately north of the bridge crossing the River, at a place called Sultenfuss Crossing. Outfitter (tubes, canoes, kayaks), campground (tents, RV sites), swimming. Be sure to get information regarding the shuttle back up to the campground if you are paddling. You will need a cell phone to call the office for the shuttle when you finish your trip. Routes:
- 3.8 miles from Bergheim Campground downstream to the Edge Falls Road Crossing, you will pass Rock Pile Rapid and Dog Leg Rapid. Good for Tube or kayak.
- 4.5 miles from Edge Falls Road Crossing to Guadalupe River State Park. Kayak only. Don't tube. Locals swim/wade favorite by locals.
- 9 miles from GRSP to Spring Branch Rd. This stretch of the river all the way to Rebecca Creek Rd near Canyon Lake is great for paddling because it is uncrowded.
- 4 miles from Spring Branch Rd to US 281 bridge.
GUADALUPE RIVER STATE PARK: This TPWD park has a trail about 2 miles long along its banks. Free and open year round, it is a great place to fish off the banks for the stocked Rainbow Trout, with downstream being popular to fly fishermen. Great for tubing & paddling. See Parks for more details.
GUADALUPE STREET CITY PARK: 1000 Guadalupe St, Kerrville, TX 78028. On Guadalupe River, located behind the Inn of the Hills Hotel. There is shallow swimming below the dam and deep water swimming/floating above the dam. Canoe and kayak rentals available at Kerrville Kayak.
JOSHUA CREEK RANCH: 830-537-5090; 132 Cravey Rd, Waring, TX 78006. www.joshuacreek.com. 1,200-acre ranch. Fall & winter bird & game hunts. Sporting clays. Lodging accommodations for reunions, weddings events. Spring & summer fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing and swimming on 1.5 miles of Guadalupe River frontage, and this isolated stretch of the Guadalupe River has very light traffic. Joshua Creek is private water within the ranch boundaries. Reservations required for float trips, available April-August.
KERRVILLE KAYAK & CANOE: 830-459-2122; 130 W Main, Kerrville, TX 78028. www.paddlekerrville.com
KNAPP ROAD BOAT RAMP: 1185 Junction Hwy, Kerrville, TX 78028. Public access to the river for fishing and swimming. Rental of canoes and kayaks for flat water paddling.
LOUISE HAYS CITY PARK: 202 Thompson Dr, Kerrville, TX 78028. A small park with good access to the Guadalupe River. Outfitter (kayak), The impoundment here creates a flat area for water paddling, floating, swimming and fishing. Occasionally TPWD stocks this area with trout.
TEXAS HILL COUNTRY RIVER GUIDES: , 830-995-4377; 544 Waring-Welfare Rd, Hwy 1621, Waring, TX 78074. This portion of the river typically does not get a lot of traffic. Address is for the Waring General Store, that handles arrangements for the nearby guide service and Adventure facility at the Don Strange Ranch in neighboring Welfare that features kayaking, climbing, zip line tours and disc golf.
General Information About San Marcos River Tubing:
The San Marcos river is host to some of the cleanest water you can find anywhere. The water is from a spring-fed source and is a constant 72 degrees. It's a beautiful river, much like the Comal, but less crowded. There are plenty of wide, easy stretches in the river.
The usual float is one mile, though it's possible to float longer with a do-it-yourself toobing trip. When you're done, you can make a quick 10 minute walk back to the beginning and toob it again, or catch a shuttle back, operated by the Lions Club of San Marcos.
The river is stunningly protected from development. You can toob right through part of Texas State campus, downtown San Marcos, but you'll feel like you're in a nature preserve. Most of the toobing part of the river is park land on both sides. Huge elephant ear plants line the banks. A native, endangered wild rice grows in the cool, clear waters.
The river chute at Rio Vista Dam has been revitalized to repair the dam naturally by creating new rapids that blend environment with refreshing fun!
Access Points For DIY "Toobers":
Most tubing trips will start at Lion's Club, and end at either the Rio Vista dam or CR 299. Continuing downstream is dangerous and will take 12 hours. The next appropriate tubing is from the CR 266/CR 101/Martindale access down to Sculls Crossing. All other access points are for reference only.
- Concrete walkway adjacent to the Lions Club tube rental facility in Old City Park at 0.0 miles
- Rio Vista Dam at 1.0 mile
- CR 299 at 2.0 miles
- CR 266/CR 101 at 5.5 miles
- Sculls Crossing (off CR 103) at 9.2 miles
- FM 1979 at 11.5 miles
- FM 1977 (just above Staples Dam) at 16.5 miles - this is the usual end of trips for less experienced paddlers
- Fentress (SH 20) low-water crossing at about 25.5 miles
- Prairie Lea (CR 280) low-water crossing # 1 at about 28.5 miles
- Prairie Lea (CR 116) low-water crossing # 2 at about 31.5 miles
- Stairtown (CR 119) crossing at about 32.5 miles
- US Hwy 90 crossing at about 39.0 miles
- Luling City Park on river left at about 45.0 miles
The runs from up near San Marcos down to Martindale are more fun than the run immediately downstream from Martindale, which is pretty flat. One popular put-in is at Westerfield Crossing/CR 101, but be sure to call beforehand to inquire about the river conditions at Old Mill Rapids, Broken Bone Rapid, Cottonseed Rapid (you could pin or wrap your boat at Cottonseed if you are not careful), and the PVC pipe at the low water bridge. You will also need to portage the boats if you are going to be up by Cummings Dam or Martindale Dam.
- City Park to Rio Vista Dam: About 1 hour
- City Park to CR 299: About 2 hours. Do not continue past this point in a tube!
- CR 266 /CR 101 to Scull's Crossing: About five hours
AUSTIN CANOE AND KAYAK: 512-396-2386; 4554 IH 35 S, San Marcos, TX 78666. www.austinkayak.comOutfitter (canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards, sales and rental), accessories. If you want to paddle on the San Marcos downstream from IH-35 heading towards Fentress or Martindale you can use their river entry point at the store. by the day to take anywhere you want, when you want. Locations in Austin, Houston and the San Marcos/New Braunfels area.
DON’S FISH CAMP: 512-357-6223/1285; 105 Nelle Ln, Martindale, TX 78655. www.myspace.com/244188241. On San Marcos River below the confluence with the Blanco River. Outfitter (tubes), swimming, tubing, fishing. Best to read the reviews beforehand at Yelp
ESKIMO HUT: 512-392-6693; Martindale, TX 78655. On San Marcos River below the confluence with the Blanco River and above Don's Fish Camp, outfitter (tubes), swimming, tubing, fishing.-->
LION'S CLUB TUBE RENTAL: 512-396-5466; San Marcos, TX 78666. www.tubesanmarcos.com. This rental and taxi service are fund raising projects of the club. Call to make special arrangements for group reservations and discounts. Directions: Exit IH 35 onto Aquarena Springs Dr, turn left onto Charles Austin Dr, then turn right behind Strahan Basketball Stadium. You will see the signs. Tubes are just $7.
LEISURE RESORT: 512-213-0112; 800-248-4103; 1 River Ln, Fentress, TX 78622. www.leisureresort.net. On San Marcos River, campground (tents, cabins, RV sites), outfitter (tubes, lifejackets), free shuttle service. Float trips go from the campground downstream to the first bridge in Prairie Lea.
POWER OLYMPIC OUTDOOR CENTER: 512-203-0093; 602 IH-35 N, San Marcos, TX 78666. www.kayakinstruction.org. Outfitter (kayaks), lessons. Proceeds fund Olympic hopefuls in water paddling sports. Helpful knowledge of San Marcos River from Sewell Park down to Spencer’s and beyond.
SPENCER’S CANOES & SHADY GROVE CAMPGROUND: 512-357-6113; 9515 FM 1979, Martindale, TX 78655. www.spencercanoes.net. Outfitter (canoes, kayaks), campground (tents), instruction. While located outside the Hill Country, they serve tubers and paddlers on the San Marcos River.
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY: 512-245-2004; 601 University Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666. www.campusrecreation.txstate.edu/outdoor/ot_center.htm. Kayak rentals to TSU students. Located in Sewell Park next to Jowers Center.
TG CANOES & KAYAKS — SAN MARCOS: 512-353-3946; 402 Pecan Park Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666 www.tgcanoe.com. On the San Marcos River. Outfitter (canoes and kayaks), rentals, sales, service, instruction, good local river knowledge. Call for detailed directions.
General Information About Medina River Tubing:
The Medina River is a pretty and desirable stream for tubing or paddling. Be sure to check water conditions as the water can be pretty minimal at times. Always best to call first because water levels vary significantly. When the water is up this is a nice stream for a paddle trip.
Portal City Profiles: See our corresponding detailed city profile pages that provide listings for lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc., for: Bandera and Medina
BANDERA BEACH CLUB KAYAK & TUBE RENTAL & SHUTTLE SERVICE: 830-796-7555; 1106 Cherry St, Bandera, TX 78003. www.banderabeachclub.com. Outfitter (tubes, kayaks), shuttle service. Located just off Main St, behind Pico gas station.
HILL COUNTRY RESORT & EVENT CENTER: 830-589-7475; 17740 Hwy 16 N, Medina, TX 78055. www.rvtexasresort.com. 11 cabins, 10 biker shelters, 50 RV sites with full hook-ups, tent sites, pool, Median River access, fishing, hiking, marked nature trails, birding/nature watching, horseshoes. TV, DVD, fully equipped kitchens. Large clubhouse, dance hall, great for groups, weddings, reunions, dances. NW of Medina 4 miles. Outfitter (rental of canoes, kayaks, paddle boats).
MAYAN DUDE RANCH: 830-796-3312; 350 Mayan Ranch Rd, Bandera, TX 78003. www.mayanranch.com. 68 rooms in cottages or lodges, some with fireplaces, VCR's & microwaves. Full American Plan. 350 acres, Medina River for swimming, fishing, tubing. Morning and afternoon trail rides along the Medina River and surrounding hills. Pool, tennis courts, volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, nature trails, barbecues, hayrides, steakfrys, cowboy breakfast cooked on the trail. General Store. Conference Center. Children's activities during summer & holidays. Golf nearby.
MEDINA RIVER COMPANY: 830-796-3600; 1307 Main St, Bandera, TX 78003. www.facebook.com/medinarivercompany
General Information About Frio River Tubing:
The Frio is 47 beautiful miles of crystal clear, chilly water, boulders, high limestone bluffs, and enormous cypress trees. Most of the river is excellent for water recreation when the levels are up. Call ahead to check on the flow rate.
The Frio is surrounded by many "dry" (i.e., they don't sell alcohol) counties. Make sure to bring your own from elsewhere.
Access Points for the Frio River:
- County Road crossing near Kent at 0.0 miles
- US Highway 83 bridge at 10.0 miles
- Bridge on FM 337 east of Leakey at 12.0 miles
- Bridge off FM 1120 southeast of Leakey at 14.0 miles
- FM 1120 crossing west of Rio Frio at 18.0 miles
- Bridge off FM 1050 at 20.0 miles
- Garner State Park on river left at 21.5 miles
- Magers Crossing at 23.0 miles
- Third River Road Crossing on County Road 348 at 26.5 miles
- Second River Road Crossing at 28.5 miles
- Neal's Lodge Campground on river right just above the Highway 127 crossing southeast of Concan at 31.0 miles.
The Frio river flow rate is known to fluctuate, and in hot, dry years can become too low for comfortable tubing. "Optimum" flows vary from 100 to 1000 cfs.
Check the Frio river flow rate at two different web links below. Disregard the "gage height" and focus on the recorded Frio river discharge rate in cubic feet per second (cfs).
YouTube Video, Fri River Fun: Video
Live Web Cams (viewable only at hosted site www.hctc.net): Web Cams
Portal City Profiles: See our corresponding detailed city profile pages that provide listings for lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc., for: Concan and Leakey.
ANDY’S ON RIVER ROAD: 830-232-5444; 21488 TX Hwy 127, Concan, TX 78838. www.floatthefrio.com. Outfitter (tubes, kayaks), shuttle service, campground (tents, cabins, suites, RV sites), groceries, gift shop. Not on river. Located 1/2 mile from Frio River.
B&B GROCERY: 830-232-6910; 21000 Hwy 83 S, Leakey, TX 78838. Grocery store, tube rentals. Located at the intersection of Hwy 83 and State Rd 1050 south of town.
BUCHANAN’S CABINS: 830-988-3272; Concan, TX 78838. www.concancabins.com. Cabins, outfitter (tubes), shuttle service.
CAMP RIVERVIEW: 830-232-5412; 1636 CR 350, Concan, TX 78838. www.friocampriverview.com. On Frio River, campground (tents, cabins, RV sites) with 40 acres and a half mile of river frontage, outfitter (tubes), swimming, fishing, store.
FAT ROB’S TUBES: 830-232-1234; Concan, TX 78873. www.fatrobstubes.com. Outfitter (tubes).
FRIO RIVER INTREPID OUTFITTERS: 830-232-5721; CR 348, Concan, TX 78838. Outfitter (kayaks). On Frio River, trips on the southern section of the river.
GARNER STATE PARK CONCESSIONS: 830-232-4200; FM 1050 & Park Rd 29, Concan, TX 78838
HAPPY HOLLOW GROCERY & FRIO RIVER OUTFITTERS: 830-232-5266; 32580 Hwy 83 N, Concan, TX 78838. www.onthefrio.com. On Frio River with private river entry/exit, outfitter (tubes, kayaks), shuttle service, store, groceries. Located 1 mile north of Garner on Hwy 83.
JOHNNY'S HAPPY HOLLOW: 830-232-5266; Leakey, TX 78873. Tube Rentals & Shuttle, T-Shirts, Gifts
JOSH'S FRIO RIVER OUTFITTER: 830-232-6292; 4243; Hwy 83, Leakey, TX 78873. www.frioriveroutfitter.com. Outfitter (tubes, kayaks), shuttle service, store, fishing, bait
JOSH'S FRIO RIVER OUTFITTER: 830-232-4243; US 83 & FM 127, Concan, TX 78838. www.frioriveroutfitter.com. Outfitter (tubes, kayaks), shuttle service, store, fishing, bait, Cafe Pope
MAJER’S CAMPGROUND: 830-232-5205; CR 350, Concan, TX 78838. www.magersrivercamp.com. On Frio River, campground, outfitter (tubes), campground (cabins), swimming. Located across from Garner State Park on the refreshing. Limestone cliff views. Good put-in for a 4.5-mile kayak trip down to CR 348/River Rd. Look out for falls on this route.
NEAL's LODGES AND RESTAURANT: 830-232-6118; Hwy 127, Concan, TX 78838; www.nealslodges.com. On the Frio River. campground (cabins, RV sites), outfitter (tubes), shuttle service, store, restaurant, hayrides, swimming, fishing, good local river knowledge. One paddle run is to put in at the 348/Seven Bluff Crossing for a 4.5 mile trip back down to Neal’s.
RIVER KAYAK & TUBE RENTALS: 830-591-6963; 275 CR 348 (River Road), Concan, TX 78838
SEVEN BLUFF CABINS & RV PARK: 830-232-5260; 3rd Crossing River Rd (CR 348), Concan, TX 78838. www.7bluffcabins.com. 1 mi E on River Rd (CR 348) and 4 mi from 127. On Frio River, at 3rd Crossing, outfitter (tubes), supplies, cabins, houses, RV sites.
STAR RENTALS: 830-232-5511; 1397 CR 350 (off Hwy 83), Concan, TX 78838. www.leakeystar.com. On Frio River, outfitter (tubes, kayaks), fishing, swimming, camping.
YEARGAN'S RIVER BEND: 830-232-6616; Concan, TX 78838. www.riverben.com. On Frio River, campground (23 camp sites, screened shelters, RV sites, cottages), outfitter (tubes, kayaks), shuttle service, great swimming hole.
General Information About Nueces River Tubing:
This area is known for their crystal clear, spring-fed streams.
Portal City Profiles: See our corresponding detailed city profile pages that provide listings for lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc., for: Barksdale, Campwood, Rio Frio and Rocksdale. Be sure to check out the Lodging and RV Park listings for this area, as many are multi-use facilities offering outfitting, lodging, restaurant, swimming, canoeing, rafting and related waters sport services.
BIG OAK RIVER CAMP: 830-597-5280; Hwy 55, Camp Wood, TX 78833; 34 miles N of Uvalde on Nueces River. Campground (log cabins, RV sites with full hook-ups, tent camping, cabins, RV sites), camp store, swimming, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling. www.bigoakrivercamp.com
CHALK BLUFF PARK: 830-278-5515; 1108 Chalk Bluff Rd, Uvalde, TX 78801. www.chalkbluffpark.com. On Nueces River, just outside the Hill Country, and just outside of Bracketville. Outfitting (tubes, kayaks, canoes, bikes, fishing poles and horses), shuttle service, store, trails for hiking and mountain biking, fishing, bait, campground (cabins, RV sites). Features a superb cliff near the water, and 2 miles of river frontage.
CLEAR CREEK OUTFITTERS: 830-597-6400; 115 S Nueces St, Camp Wood, TX 78833. Located in town, look for the antique shop. Outfitting (tubes, kayaks, canoes), shuttle service. Put in and take out points at: McDonald’s Crossing, River Road and the Dam by the Hwy 55 crossing. The Nueces is exciting when the water levels are up. However, often there is very little water in the river. Typically not as many tubers on the Nueces as there are on the Frio. Check with outfitters about river flow conditions before driving all the way out here.
NUECES RIVER ADVENTURES: 512-636-9111; CR 407, Camp Wood, TX 78833. www.nuecesriveradventures.com. Five private riverfront acres on the Nueces River. Outfitter (kayaks, tubes), shuttle service, campground (tent), swimming, fishing, arrowhead digs, wildlife viewing and mountain biking . Located outside of Laguna area, about 18-20 mi from Camp Wood, between Camp Wood and Uvalde.
RIVER RUN TUBES: 200 Nueces St, Camp Wood, TX 78833. Located at intersection of 55 and 337. Outfitter (tubes).
General Information About South Llano River Tubing:
South Llano River is a spring-fed river that flows north towards Junction. While not as heavily vegetated as the Guadalupe River, this river makes for a good paddle. A popular trip passes by the 700 Springs Ranch south of the state park near Telegraph. Call ahead to ask about trip options, water conditions, challenging spots in the river, and kayak availability.
Popular Routes (click for Map):
- 2nd to 1st Crossing: Great swimming hole. Cliff-side views.
- 1st to Boone’s Crossing: Enjoy very scenic views. Great for a family float and one of the best floats. Great swimming holes
- Boone’s to State Park: Great fishing spots. Gravel bars that are perfect for picnics and relaxing in the sun. Open waters for the enthusiasts. Perfect float for those camping in the State Park
- State Park to Flatrock: Great trip for those staying in town. Great swimming holes
FUN IN THE SUN CANOE RENTALS: 325-446-2905; 1606 College St, Junction, TX 76849
GOODMAN’S: 325-446-3870; Telegraph/Junction, TX 76849. On S Llano River, outfitter (cabins, canoes), shuttle service. Located about 10 miles south of Junction off of 377. www.southllanorivercabins.com
HILL COUNTRY RENTALS: 325-446-9101; 1616 Main St, Junction, TX 76849. Tube rentals
JUNCTION/NORTH LLANO RIVER KOA KAMPGROUNDS: 325-466-3138; 877-446-3138; 2145 Main St, Junction, TX 76849-3024. On N Llano River. www.junctionkoa.com
JUNCTION RIVER RENTALS: Outfitter (tubes), open 7 days a week, shuttle service.
LLANO FARMS PECAN & RIVER COMPANY: 325-446-8271; 103 Park Rd 73, Junction, TX 76849. Outfitter (tubes), store. Located at the entrance to Llano River State Park.
LLANO RIVER CAMPING: 325-660-2923; CR 314, Junction, TX 76849. www.llanorivercamping.com. On South Llano River, 200 acres with cliff views, outfitter (tubes), campground (tents, cabins, RV sites), fishing, swimming.
MEACHAM OUTFITTERS: 325-446-3192; 432-288-3656; 1214 Main, Junction, TX 76849. Outfitter (kayaks, canoes, tubes, paddle boats), shuttle service. Guided paddle trips on Llano River near the South Llano River State Park.
(THE) OUTDOORSMAN, PEACEMAKER RIVER EXPEDITIONS & WEST TEXAS FLY OUTFITTERS: 325-446-6899; 325-446-2363; 126 Flatrock Ln, Junction, TX 76849. www.peacemakerriver.com. Within walking distance of the S Llano River. Outfitter (kayaks).
PINKY'S PIRATES: 325-446-6888; Junction, TX 76849. Kayak & tub rental with shuttle service
ROY'S TUBE RENTALS: 325-446-2955; 314 Main St, Junction, TX 76849
SOUTH LLANO RIVER CANOES & KAYAKS: 325-446-2220; Junction, TX 76849. www.junctiontexas.net/canoeing.htm. 6 mi S town on Hwy 377 S, on South Llano River, outfitter (canoes, kayaks), shuttle service.
TONY'S KAYAKS: 325-446-3360; 830-609-8329; 830-609-8836; 315 US 377 S, Junction, TX 76849. Rentals of kayaks, shuttle service.
USED TO BE SONNY'S CANOES: 325-215-9376; 214 Patricia, Junction, TX 76849. www.utbsonnys.com. Located near the Flat Rock crossing on the South Llano River.
General Information About Small Area Tubing:
Out in the rural areas where there are RV parks and campgrounds along the rivers, many of the proprietors offer some degree of loan/rental of basic water-related equipment just for the paying guests. Some will rent to non-guests.
Concessioners at many of the state parks (see Parks for detailed profiles of each of our Hill Country parks) also rent basic equipment (tubes, canoes, kayaks).
See our corresponding city profile pages for each area that provide listings for lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc. Just click on the link in the town name.
MUD OUTDOOR CENTER: RR 620, Bee Cave, TX 78737. Outfitter (kayaks) sales and rental, near Lake Travis.
BLANCO STATE PARK: 830-833-4551; Information: 830-833-4333. Business: 830-833-5388. 101 Park Road 23, Blanco, TX 78606-4835. www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/blanco. On Blanco River, dammed areas good for wading, swimming and very short floats. It isn’t vert good for tubing because the water is very calm. No lifeguards. No commercial outfitter, but TPWD rents tubes, canoes, kayaks. Campground (tents, RV), Basic camp store, hot showers. No shuttle service. Stores nearby in town, but minimal water-related. This is a relatively small but beautiful tree shaded 105-acre park inside the town of Blanco. There is gently sloping access to much of the impoundment formed by the small dam constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The impoundment is stocked with trout during the winter on occasion and perch, catfish and bass typically are present. Live bait available across the street at the Shell station. See Parks
TEXAS KAYAK: 210-382-8890; 124 Industrial Dr, Boerne, TX 78006. www.texaskayak.com. Outfitter (kayaks), sales and rental. Good local knowledge about paddle trips around the Boerne area.
REVEILLE PEAK RANCH: 512-755-4417; 105 CR 114, Burnet, TX 78611. www.rprtexas.com. 1300 acre outdoor adventure, education, recreational events center, weddings. Mountain biking, trail running, kayaking, fishing, more than 62 miles of diverse trails, or stroll through the Texas wildflowers at your own pace. bird watching, canoeing, paddle board, kayak on the ranch's own lake, or make a short portage to Lake Buchanan. Young guests can join their partner Outdoor Wilderness Adventures for instruction in rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, fly fishing and mountaineering. 6 RV hook ups with water and electricity (no grey water/dumping), 250+ primitive camping sites. Basic bike repair shop offering standard parts for mountain bikes. Paddle board, kayak and canoe rentals.
CASTELL GENERAL STORE: 325-247-4100; 2000 Hwy 152, Castell, TX 76831. www.castelltexas.com/biz.html. On Llano River (across the street). Real estate sales, beer, bait, ammo, feed, groceries, antiques, and outfitting (tubes, kayak rentals), fly fishing. BBQ on Saturdays. The river in this area is exciting when the water levels are up. The river bed is granite! Typically, this part of the river is much better for paddling than it is for tubing so if you bring the boats you shouldn't have to worry about those pesky black doughnuts. There are some stairstep rapids and some falls downstream that could catch you off guard. Check out the Annual (late May) Castell kayak race.
LEIFESTE CAMPGROUND: 325-247-3447; RR 152, Castell, TX 76831. www.castelltexas.com/camping.html. In operation for over fifty years, reservations are required well in advance. 7 camping sites with electric and drinking water, shuttle service, rental of canoes, kayaks & flat bottom boats, family oriented, great fishing, shady sites, located on the Llano River, just outside Castell. When the water is up this is a really nice stretch of the Llano River. The best access to the water is at the downstream end of the campground.
RIVERSOUNDS CAMPGROUND: 325-247-1414; Castell, TX 76831. www.castelltexas.com. On Llano River, features riverside camps, some hookups, great fishing!
JOHNSON CITY WATER SPORTS AREA: Located on the Pedernales River at the Bridge on Highway 281 just N of town and next to the Blanco County Show Barn. Easy launching area. Ideal for kayaking, canoeing, picnicking and fishing. Dammed areas good for swimming and very short floats. No lifeguards, No outfitters or shuttle service. Stores nearby in town, but minimal water-related. Convenient parking at the launch area. There is no charge for use of the water area or parking. No lifeguards. No phone, no office.
BUCHANAN ADVENTURE TOURS: 512-756-4700; 16942 RR 2341, Burnet, TX 78611. www.canyonoftheeagles.com/hill-country-adventure, and www.buchananadventuretours.com. At Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park (see below). Kayak trips on east Lake Buchanan. Rental of canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle board. Guided kayaking tours/eco-adventures, overnight kayaking trips, GPS scavenger hunts, hiking tours, youth camp retreats, team building.
CANYON OF THE EAGLES LODGE & NATURE PARK: 800-977-0081; 512-334-2070; 16942 RR 2341, Burnet (postal address, but actually much closer to Buchanan Dam). Eagle Eye observatory. Home of Vanishing Texas River Cruise. Conference Center, restaurant, pool, lodge rooms, tent camping and RV facilities, and some have a view of the lake. www.canyonoftheeagles.com; and Highland Lakes. This 940-acre lakeside park has three miles of lakefront, 14 miles of hiking trails, canoeing, kayak rentals, swimming, fishing and 50 campsites. You can see eagles on a seasonal basis.
PELICAN POINT RESORT: 830-379-2373; 800-930-2373; 100 Scott Dr, Tow, TX 78672. www.pelicanpointresort.com. Campground (4 cabins, bunkhouse, RV sites), outfitter (canoes), swimming, with about 2,000 feet of water frontage. Located south of Tow off of 2241.
GO PADDLE DOWN: Marble Falls, TX 78654. www.gopaddledown.com. Rent stand-up paddle boards and kayaks, seven days a week. Reserve on-line.
JUSTYAKIN: 325-665-1208; Marble Falls, TX 78654. www.justyakin.com. This outfitter will deliver kayaks to you at your home or vacation spot in the Marble Falls area for flat water paddling on Lake LBJ or Lake Marble Falls. Rental of sit on top single and tandem kayaks. Instructions and group programs. Hourly rentals on Lake Marble Falls.
BLUE MOUNTAIN PEAK RANCH: 325-347-7144; 3699 Blue Mountain Ln, Mason, TX 76856. www.bluemountainpeakranch.com/id3.html. Privately owned ranches available to the public, located 17 miles SW of Mason off RR 1871. Offers: camping, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, hunting. Guided kayak trips on the Llano River.
HEMPHILL INSURANCE AGENCY (& ROCK BOTTOM KAYAKS): 325-347-6440; 205 Westmoreland, Mason, TX 76856. Located on the courthouse square. On Llano River, outfitter (kayaks), shuttle service.
LLANO RIVER REGION ADVENTURES: 512-496-2020; 531 El Paso St, Mason, TX 76856. www.headforthehillcountry.com. Outfitter (kayaks, canoes), rental, guide service, shuttle service
Note: The San Saba in this area is narrow but paddleable. Ask around to find where the old wagon wheel marks are along the river. Call first to get river flow information because the water can be minimal at times.
SAN SABA RIVER ADVENTURES: 325-456-6447; 701 Ellis St, Menard, TX 76859. Outfitter (kayaks), guided kayak & fishing trips. www.sansabariveradventures.com
THE BOAT HOUSE: 512-847-2180; 15577 RR 12, Wimberley, TX 78640. Outfitter (canoes, kayaks). Paddle on the Blanco River just outside of Wimberley.
CONGRESS AVENUE KAYAKS: Waller Creek Boathouse, 74 Trinity St, Austin, TX 78701. www.congresskayaks.com
MOC KAYAKS: 512-263-0004; 4701 Red Bluff Rd, Austin, TX 78702. www.mockayaks.com. Kayak rentals
PARADISE CANYON: 830-751-9911; 2220 CR 2615, Rio Medina, TX 78066. www.paradisecanyon.com. On Medina River, campground (tents, cabins, RV sites), outfitter (tubes, rafts, kayaks), shuttle service, swimming, fishing. Located SE of Medina Lake, NW of San Antonio.
TEXAS PACK & PADDLE: 210-494-4200; San Antonio, TX 78232. www.txpaddlesports.com
TEXAS ROWING CENTER: 512-467-7799; 1541 W Caesar Chevez, Austin, TX 78703. www.texasrowingcenter.com/map_contact_main.htm. Outfitter (rowing boats, kayaks), lessons. Located on Town Lake (Lady Bird Lake) just S of Austin High School, on the Hike and Bike trail.
- Wear suitable footwear, sunscreen, your life jacket & a smile!
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Do Not Litter!!!
- Respect private property
- If you do not swim, do not go!!
- No glass Or styrofoam on the rivers
- River trips are NOT for pregnant women!!
- Always get a safety speech
- Call ahead for age limits
- River low, length of trips, and age cutoffs can change daily
The following checklist will help you prepare for your river adventure so that you will have a great time! Some items are specific to the the lower Guadalupe River, but common sense suggests they apply to all waterways and water recreation participants.
- CHECK OUTFITTER'S WEBSITE:
Check right before you depart home to make sure the river is open. Sometimes a significant amount of rainfall up river will cause the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase river levels to the point of no longer being safe for tubing. Generally they give the public at least a 12 hour advance notice before increasing river levels in large increments. Typically, any changes in river conditions that would affect the safety of tubing would be posted on the outfitter's website. While being a rare occurrence, you should check conditions and the weather forecast before your departure from home.
- VEHICLE PARKING: Typical rules are to park ONLY in designated areas because of the large number of cars on busy days. Cars in undesignated areas may be towed at the owner's expense. Parking is typically free all day with your tube rental.
MEDICAL CONDITIONS: Pregnant women and people with medical conditions should consult their doctor before going tubing and subjecting themselves to lengthy exposures in the hot Texas sun. Tubing is an activity that can be strenuous. Stay hydrated - drink plenty of water and follow your Doctor's orders. If you need to take your medications with you, be sure and pack them in a water proof or water tight container or a zip lock bag and then secure them in a safe place so you can take them at the proper intervals as prescribed. Before getting on the river, inform your family members and/or friends about your medical condition so if something should happen to you, they will be ready to take charge and act quickly in case of an emergency!
- SUN BLOCK: Sun protection should be applied BEFORE and DURING each float trip or any time you are in the sun for extended periods. It's a good idea to bring a white short sleeve T-shirt and put it on if you begin to sunburn. Most outfitters sell sun block if you forget yours.
FOOTWARE: Tennis shoes, aqua-shoes, river sandals with straps or other "secure footwear" are needed to protect your feet against sharp objects, cuts, scrapes, bruises and the rocky and often slippery river bottom while walking to and from the entry/exit points for tubing on the river. If you forget your river shoes, many outfitters sell them. Flip Flops are not recommended for river tubing as they slip and slide easily when wet or muddy and offer very little protection for your feet, and they slip off your feet easily and float away before you can retrieve them, leaving you with bare and unprotected feet!
- HAT & SUNGLASSES: Shield your face, eyes and head from the rays of the hot Texas sun.
- CLOTHING: DO NOT wear clothing that will tangle and/or restrict your ability to swim, which could cause you to drown. DO NOT wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, scarves, coats, jackets, long dresses, burkhas, large, baggy, loose or heavy clothing of any type. Make sure your arms and legs have free movement at all times while you are tubing or when you are in the water.
- DON'T TAKE VALUABLES WITH YOU ON THE RIVER: Keys don't float. Most items sink and are never found! Phones and cameras don't don't work very well, if at all, after being submerged in water. Leave your wallet, purse and other valuables in a safe place. Some outfitters have a safe keep area for your valuables. Locksmiths are expensive! Many people have lost wedding rings and other rings because fingers tend to shrink after being in the water for awhile, allowing rings to slip off fingers into the river, never to be found again. Do not wear any jewelry while tubing.
ATTACH & SECURE PRESCRIPTION GLASSES: Attach glasses to your face, head or body while tubing. Anyone wearing glasses should have a headband, neckband or float bobber of some sort, preferably the floating type that attaches to each arm or stem of your glasses to prevent your eyeglasses from falling off your face and sinking in the river should you flip your tube over. Outfitters typically sell float bobbers.
- WATER CONDITIONS: Know the water before you enter it! Conditions at your campground may or may not be what you encounter on the float. If you are not able to control your tube or are not comfortable in the water, do not go for a float trip.
DANGERS: River tubing, swimming and river activities have both inherent and unknown risks and dangers that may lead to injury or loss of life. On your float you will be on your own, use caution, think safety first! You will be asked to sign a waiver and release of liability for yourself and anyone else in your group before entry into the water. It is highly recommended that you go tubing with 2 or more people to keep an eye on each other and act as a "buddy system" in case help is needed. Watch out for anything that can snag your clothes and "hang you up", including stumps and logs in the river, large roots from the shore line, and low-lying tree branches. Do not tie tubes together because if one person gets caught by a tree, everyone gets caught. Do not grab on to a tree from the water. Paddle away from trees as soon as you see them. Grabbing a tree will only bring you to a stop while your tube continues downstream.
- NO LIFE GUARDS ON DUTY: On the river you will be on your own, use caution, think safety first!
- LIFE JACKETS: Outfitters typically provides them on request, some places at no charge. We recommend you use them, especially for children.
- CHILDREN: Should be at least five (5) years old and be accompanied by an adult for tubing on the river (age limits may change with water conditions and outfitter). Life jackets/vests are recommended for all children. Parents & Guardians are responsible for their children. Watch your children at ALL times. Small children should either ride with an adult or have a tube with a bottom with an adult holding on to them.
- NON-SWIMMERS: Should not be on float trips.
- TELL SOMEONE: Tell someone where you are going! Tell your friends and family where you are going and your intentions. Make a "Float Plan" and let someone know your plans! Tell them the name of the place you are going and how long you will be gone. VERY IMPORTANT!
- DRINK PLENTY OF WATER: Drink water while tubing to help prevent dehydration. Outfitters typically have bottled water for sale if you forget yours.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: They are legal on the rivers in most areas, as are floating coolers. Anyone of "legal drinking age" can drink while they are on the river, but PLAY IT SAFE and use your good judgment. Drink Responsibly! If you get too drunk and out of control, you stand a good chance of getting arrested. Officers do check ID's on and in the river water. Have a designated sober driver. NOTE: NO Public consumption of alcohol before 12 noon on Sundays, it's illegal (just wait till 12:01 to start drinking in public on Sundays!) Note, within New Braunfels city limits alcoholic beverages and floating coolers are not allowed. The only restriction on the lower Guadalupe is you cannot have containers on the river less than 5 oz size (e.g., jello shots).
GLASS CONTAINERS & STYROFOAM COOLERS: NOT ALLOWED on some rivers. Not allowed on the Guadalupe River BY LAW and will be confiscated, with possible arrest and fine up to $500. Coolers & ice chests may be checked for glass and styrofoam at random times or places on the river by law enforcement officials in/on the river! See the guy with the shinny star and binoculars?
- COOLERS: Hard and soft sides are allowed, must have a hinged lid with a latch, not be made of Styrofoam, and no larger than 16 qts.
DO NOT LITTER: Dispose of trash in litter bags, which many outfitters provide. Dump trash in designated receptacles. Help keep our rivers, parks and the state of Texas beautiful. Violators can be fined. "DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS!"
- PRIVATE PROPERTY: Rope swings, bridges, trees and cliffs line the banks of the rivers. Many people see these interesting points and immediately want to jump, dive or swing into the river, and in their excitement, they fail to check below for shallow water, large underlying rocks or other hazards. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred because these individuals failed to exercise caution and check things out first. Check all areas BELOW before diving or jumping into unfamiliar waters. Even after checking below, it is very difficult for the average individual to determine "for certain", that the water below is deep enough to safely dive or jump into, or that objects are far enough away from the point of impact to clear them safely, and it is nearly impossible for anyone who has been drinking alcohol to judge things in this situation. We recommend you skip these high risk ventures. We urge you to use common sense in this matter and do not trespass on private property, violators can be fined.
JUMPING FROM BRIDGES: Verboten! You don't know what is just beneath the surface, and it is against the law and common sense.
FIREWORKS, FIRE ARMS, FIRES: Fireworks and firearms are not permitted in most campgrounds. Polices vary concerning campfires; County fire bans may also be in place.
- DOGS: There are no restrictions we are aware of regarding dogs going in the water with you. Outfitters typically welcome dogs going tubing and usually allowed to ride on shuttles. However, you are responsible for the safety and well being of your dog at all times, including its behavior towards other people, other dogs and animals. Your outfitter is not responsible for your dog in any regard or manner. Not all dogs are suited for river tubing (and for some humans as well, as mentioned above). There are both inherent and unknown risks and dangers on the rivers, and these include but are not limited to injury or loss of life to you or your dog. Know your dog's abilities and make your decisions accordingly. Outfitters typically have a "No Refund Policy", so if it turns out your dog does not like tubing, there are No Refunds! Some people would like their dog(s) to wear a life jacket while tubing or swimming, but be prepared and bring your own doggy jacket. For Comal County, an ordinance requires all dogs to be on a leash and three is a fine of up to $500 for dogs running loose. Many campgrounds do not allow dogs and other pets in their campground.
LIABILITY RELEASE: Outfitters do not assume liability for personal injury or loss. Outfitters typically require a standard liability release signature. A signed rental contract document is required by most outfitters.
- SERVICE REFUSAL: Outfitters reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason, including misbehavior. When river levels are above "Recreational Flows" (see definitions below), the river becomes more challenging and dangerous for children, seniors and weak-swimmers, in which case the outfitter may not rent tubes to anyone who is at a higher risk.
- RIVER EXIT POINT: In selecting and outfitter and/or campground, consider the cost versus convenience of having the trip exit point be the campground/parking destination (this trip starts with a shuttle ride up river). When you finish the float and leave the water, you are ready for dry clothes, and convenient logistics (think of hauling coolers, tubes, kids, etc.) to your vehicle or camp and food.
- YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT: Many outfitters allow use of your own equipment (tubes, canoe, kayak, etc.), with shuttle service by them, and with a reduction in the trip fees.
- CASH, DEPOSITS & PRICING: Some outfitters do not accept credit cards, so plan accordingly. Some require your vehicle keys or credit card as a deposit. Plan for use of discount coupons (web or printed coupons, for seasonal, military, and specific groups); many outfitters honor competitor coupons. Most will not negotiate prices except for large groups.
- USGS: GUADALUPE RIVER, AT SATTLER: Data
- TPWD: RIVER/STREAM FLOW GAGES - GUADALUPE RIVER BASIN: Data
- WFY: COMAL RIVER AT NEW BRAUNFELS: Data
- COMAL RIVER: Data
- NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - NOAA: Data
(scroll down to "South Central Waterways" and choose river of interest)
- USGS: FRIO RIVER, AT CONCAN: Data
Note: Disregard the "gage height" and focus on the recorded river discharge rate in cubic feet per second (CFS).
- Below 64 cfs = "Low & Slow", some walking, add extra float time
- 65 - 499 cfs = Recreational tubing
- 500 - 799 cfs = Challenging; tube only if a good swimmer, life vests recommended.
Use extra caution for children.
- 800 - 1199 cfs = Strenuous tubing ** Caution Advised **; debris in water
- 1200 cfs and above = NO RIVER TUBING (considered too dangerous for tubing);
but great for paddling!
Canyon Lake Dam water release determines the flow rate on the lower Guadalupe River. On the TPWD site, to determine the actual River Flow, add the "Turbine Setting" to the "Outlet Works Release" and it should equal the "Flow at Sattler Gage"). If you find that things don't add up correctly when determining the actual River Flow, it's most likely due to faulty or broken river gages, which happens quite often. The reading on the "Flow at Sattler Gage" should represent the "actual river flow".
LCRA HYDROLOGIC DATA & MAP: http://hydromet.lcra.org/full.aspx. Excellent map of rivers in the Hill Country.
AMERICAN WHITEWATER: www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/state-summary/state/TX. Has an inventory of rivers in Texas, along with member reports on river conditions and flow rates.
GUADALUPE RIVER TROUT UNLIMITED: www.grtu.org. In partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife and local W.O.R.D., GRTU stocks the Guadalupe River below Canyon Dam in several places during December through February.
RIVERFACTS: www.riverfacts.com/states/tx.html. More information on rivers in Texas from a whitewater paddling interest.
RIVERWATCHER: http://www.riverwatcher.org. How much recreation can the San Marcos river support?
SAN MARCOS RIVER FOUNDATION: 512-353-4628; The Price Seniors Center, 222 W San Antonio St, San Marcos, TX 78666. http://sanmarcosriver.org. Mission is to protect public access and preserve the San Marcos River, focusing on protecting the flow from aquifer-fed springs,improving the water quality and protecting the beauty of the area with parks and annual clean-ups.
SANDY ROAD GUEST HAUS:
Upscale Western-style Guest House Lodging
in a Beautiful Ranch Setting in the Gorgeous Texas Hill Country
Reservations & Information: 281-300-7177
9242 RR 1320 (Sandy Road), Johnson City, TX 78636
Web: www.SandyRoadGuestHaus.com Email: info@SandyRoadGuestHaus.com
Come Relax & Enjoy!