The Yampa River flows through the heart of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It is the only free-flowing river in the state, meaning that nowhere along its 261 miles is it obstructed by dams or diversions. The river begins in the headwaters of the White River National Forest and continues onto the Utah border where it meets up with the Green River. The Yampa river is a favorite among paddlers of all types. Most of the Yampa River flows through wide, deep canyons that tower above the riverbed. The two long runs, Lodore Canyon and Yampa Canyon, are Class III whitewater runs, but most of the runs on side creeks are rated Class IV to VI. Lodore Canyon is a 44-mile run, and Yampa Canyon is a 71-mile run. Most of the big water runs are for expert kayakers only, and are 5 miles or less. Steamboat Springs hosts an annual River Festival where kayakers come to compete from all across the nation. And is asually held at the end of May or early June. Backdoor Sports can furnish you with gear rentals and we also offer kayak lessons.
The back door at Backdoor Sports is steps away from the banks of the Yampa River, making it the ideal location to enjoy a local’s favorite – “Tubing the Yampa”. After the spring melt-off has subsided and the water has had a chance to warm up a bit, the residents of Steamboat Springs inflate their inner tubes and go floating. If you are visiting from out of town and would like to take a lazy ride down the river, please stop by and let us help you out. Backdoor Sports has the best tubes and tube seats available to make your trip as comfortable as possible. Rental tubes are available for $18, which also includes a shuttle ride back to the drop-in location.
Here’s a list of need-to-know information:
- To ensure that the river doesn’t become overcrowded, we regulate the number of tubes allowed in the river at one time. Be sure to come early to enjoy a quiet trip down the river.
- Water shoes are also required for your safety. If you have left yours at home we can rent you a pair for $3.
- Although no official age restriction applies, we do recommend that children should be at least 5 years old. All children under 12 MUST be accompanied by an adult. Anyone under the age of 18 must have an adult sign a waiver.
- Depending on the river’s flow, the trip takes roughly one hour.
- Weather permitting, times of operation are from 10:30am – 4:30pm.
- Tubing season usually begins in June and lasts through September. Conditions are reliant on the amount of snow-melt and rainfall we receive. If the water levels are too low tubing will be halted. Give us a call at 970.879.6249 for current river conditions.
- We welcome large groups. All we ask is to please give us a heads up by calling 970.879.6249 if your group is larger than ten people.
If you already own your own inner tube, but would like to give it an upgrade, check out our fancy, luxury tube seats. Guaranteed to give you the best tubing experience ever.