High Country Adventure rents tubes for floating the ProvoWhat: Tubing the Lower Provo River Where: Provo Canyon (of course) When: Pioneer Day Weekend How much: $15 bucks Why? Cause its hot and the river cold and wet.
The Provo River can be easily tubed all by yourself, but for the first timer I recommend using the shuttle and organizational (sort of) services of High Country Adventure outfitter. They have a private dock and rend inflatable kayaks, rafts and tubes for your excursion. You can hire a guide for each type of tour but it is quite easily navigated with the safety lecture they give you on the shuttle to the top. Also. I think doing this section of the Provo on a full sized raft would be BORING. Too much boat, not enough river here.
So to make a reservation call in and reserve your tube, an unguided tube is $15, which is a super deal, I think, for a two-hour float down a really fun section of river. I opted for the 2 p.m. slot which seems the most popular as our float was super crowded.
Crowd tip: If there is a big group, identify them while your waiting to load up and GET AHEAD OF THEM at the put in. This require a little forceful assertion but floating behind a big pack of drinking buddies stinks and you will continually collide with their flotilla and have a hard time navigating tricker sections. Unless you are a big crowd, of course, then have at it.
The High Country guides tell you to arrive no later than 1:45 and you You should get there by 1:45 to check in but be prepared to stand around for an hour-ish while they pull the morning group out of the river and load up the boats for the next session.
On the ride up one of the guides will give you a safety lecture and two key tips for navigating the river. One involves the "Bridge of Death." so listen up.
Once on the water, there you are. The river gets fast in spots and pretty much most of the fun is lining up the rapids to jostle your tube and making course corrections to avoid the river bank's rocks, pokey sticks and the fisherman dotting the waterway. Navigation is a pretty good work out as it consists of just frantically paddling your arms and often turning in circles. I was thinking a short kayak paddle would be helpful, because all that flaying about rubs your arms on the tub. This becomes painful by the end of the float.
If you capsize, the river isn't deep although it is swift so be prepared to hold your ground. Beverages of your choice are perfectly acceptable, this is a river after all. I just three a few cans of beer in a backpack and kept it in my lap during the float.
Directions from SLC: Head south on I-15 to exit 272. Turn left off the exit and follow it through a series of stoplights. As you approach the mountains the road forks into the canyon and down to Provo. Stay in the left lane (189 north) up Provo Canyon towards Heber City. Proceed 6 miles up the canyon until you reach Vivian Park (on right). Proceed 50 meters PAST the entrance of Vivian Park and turn right into the parking area.