Diversity. Big city life. Liquor in grocery stores. And Neiman Marcus. These are just a few things that Utah lacks. However… the great outdoors is where Utah never ceases to flourish! That’s why… summertime is full of fun sun-bathing adventure. Last week’s adventure – river tubing down the Provo River. It was a great way to cool down in our near 100 degree weather.
Before you plan your river trip, be sure to check the river flow. We just started seeing low to medium flow here because of our high snow pack this year. Eddy Flower has the best easy to understand site I’ve seen so far.
11.00am – We met at Lisa and Zac’s house. Load up all the important stuff: cold beer, dry bags or mesh bags for hauling beer, water for hydration, life vests (it’s apparently illegal to not wear a life vest on the river – you will get ticketed if seen by a ranger!), sunscreen, swimwear and river tubes.
RIVER TUBES: You can find these at Big 5, Shopko or other stores alike for about $10-$30 depending on whether or not they are on sale. Here’s the link for what all of us ended up (coincidentally) buying – Intex River Run Tube.
BEER: Bring cold canned beer, not glass. Glass is heavier and does not travel well down the river. Glass breaks – dangerous. Cans can be crushed to save space. Bring mesh bags or some sort of sack so you can load the beer and hang it off your tube to keep it cool in the river. Just a couple of drinker-friendly tips…
11.30am – Off we went down south to Provo Canyon. Deer Creek Dam is the start point; it’s located just off the 189. Pull down near the river to the more open dirt parking lot where you may see fellow tubers.
12.15pm – Unload the gear and have the drivers do a quick shuttle by driving out to the end of the run. It’s near Vivian Park; you should see a few small parking lots as well as a picnic area with benches.
Meanwhile, those back at the start should be pumping up the tubes and loading up the beer. Throw on those life jackets and put items you don’t need into the car that’s returned to the start point.
12.45pm – Hit the river! One by one, make your way into the river and plop comfortably into the tube. Hands off and go with the flow. Pop open that beer, relax, chat with your neighbor and bask in the sun.
Yay to hanging beer coozies. They were great for when you had to paddle away from the trees off to the sides.
This river is a Class I to II – much tamer than the Weber River. It’s a very relaxing ride and easy to stay with your group… as long as they don’t get caught in an eddy and fall behind the rest. *ahem* Kasumi.
Don’t be afraid to stay together. Unless you are buddying up and about to take two different directions due to a giant boulder. Then, you might want to let go…
2.00pm – Five beers later. Head out of the river and have the drivers fetch the other car. The trip will run about 1.5 to 2 hours depending on how you are flowing. We stopped a time or two to wait for our group. You’ll see a sign saying to pull out when you near the end point.
2.30pm – Load up the car and go again! If Lisa is not traveling with your group, I recommend bringing your own awesome chips and dip as a re-energizing and sobering snack.
4.30pm – After a second run down the river, we headed back to Salt Lake for some much needed food. Of course, we did not escape without a few injuries.
If you aren’t much for shuttling yourself or buying your own equipment, there are a couple of outfitters that will do all that for you. Check out High Country Rafting (not on Sundays though) and Provo Canyon Outfitters. PCO has a pretty chatty Facebook page as well – at least, I think it’s theirs. The run through one of these outfitters provides you with a life vest, tube and shuttle for about $15 per person. It’s a one-time river run.
We also some a SUP (stand up paddle) boarder as well as some rafts and kayaks down the river. The same outfitters above can accommodate those as well, I believe.