Tubing the river is a quintessential summer activity. The lazy float on rapid-free water makes for a relaxing day for all ages. Each summer, the almost two-mile stretch of the Wenatchee River on the east slope of the Washington Cascades, near Leavenworth comes alive with tubing enthusiasts, SUP offerings, kayaks and even the ever popular Unicorn float.
There are many outfitters to help you get on the river or...you can leave everything to a company like Sound Excursions. Sound Excursions picks riders up in Seattle or Bellevue before taking them to Leavenworth. Lunch, tubes, entertainment and snacks are provided along with sunglasses and a water resistant phone case.
I was recently given the opportunity to float down the Wenatchee River with Sound Excursions, and it was one of my best days this summer. The adventures started in Seattle where we were loaded into a luxury coach (bus) at South Lake Union and given lots of snacks. As the bus drove towards Leavenworth, our guide filled us in with details about our day and started a trivia game. I learned some fun facts, like Washington has more than 700 islands off its coast at low tide and that the first James Bond was not Sean Connery. Full disclosure, my tubing buddy and I full-on won the trivia game, beating out the rest of the bus with glee.
Once arriving in Leavenworth, we were dropped off at the tubing location and handed over to our guides with the Leavenworth Outdoor Center. After a brief safety lesson, we were handed our tubes (which included head rests and cup holders) and some frisbee paddles. The frisbees as paddles made us both laugh and nod our head at the ingenuity.
My friend and I quickly headed down to the river and clipped our tubes together. The guides suggested that we clip no more than 3 tubes together but we definitely saw some larger groups float by, many smartly with coolers and tubes for their dogs. Our tubing attire was swimsuits, rash guards and water shoes. We also packed extra water and wore hats. Other tubers wore less clothing but we were worried about sunburns and wanted to avoid them.
Floating down a river in a tube is both exhilarating and super relaxing. The sun rests on your shoulders as the cool water keeps you feeling refreshed. You don’t get super wet unless you decide to dive into the river for a quick dip.
My friend and I lounged in our tubes as we floated along, occasionally chatting with others. Our entire float took about 2 hours but could definitely have been extended with stops at Blackbird Island or other areas along the river. Some people appeared to have settled in for the long relaxation with chairs, coolers and picnic food.
The Wenatchee River lies at the foothills of the Cascades with gorgeous scenery all around. There is potential to spot wildlife but we saw more dogs frolicking in the water than other animals. The river also has areas with rougher waters better suited for rafting adventures which we avoided on our float adventure. Tubing is best suited for those looking for a relaxing time, families and kids (furry and otherwise).
After our float was done, we headed up to the Leavenworth Beer Garden for our gear and lunch. Sound Excursions provided a place to change and once we were out of our wet swimsuits and into dry clothing, we dug into our bratwursts. We also had the option to purchase alcoholic drinks before heading out to explore Leavenworth. We ambled through town and then went for a walk along through Waterfront Park. After grabbing an ice drink for the ride home, we climbed aboard our luxury coach to watch episodes of “The Office” and recount our day.
Sound Excursions offers tubing trips all summer long along with other fun adventures such as trips to Oktoberfest and Terrarium making. Prices start at $69 per person and more information can be found at https://www.soundexcursions.com/leavenworth-river-tubing.
A tubing trip with Sound Excursions would be ideal for bachelorette/bachelor parties, moms looking for a day getaway, a great date opportunity, college students looking for a team building opportunity and basically anyone looking to get out and enjoy themselves. This is one summer activity almost everyone can get behind!