General Information

The whitewater tubing adventure is a self-guided trip with half shuttle transportation.  The total time of your adventure will depend on the trip chosen, water levels, etc.  The Westham Gauge must be below 5.00 ft. on the day of the trip for a tubing trip to go out on the water. Please refer to our home page for current river and weather conditions.

A minimum of two people is required for the Half Shuttle Tubing Adventure. Participants in the half shuttle tubing adventure must provide their own vehicle to shuttle their group back from the river at the end of their adventure and return the tubes to River City Adventures at 711 Hospital Street, Suite 2A.

We will provide personal flotation devices (PFDs), whitewater tubes (inflatable tubes with handles and cup holders), and cooler tubes (at an extra cost).

​​Half Shuttle Whitewater Tubing Adventures​  
​(must be at least 12 yrs old and weigh 50 lbs)

The James River is not a "lazy river".   It works hard to give you an adventure you can't have in any other city in the U.S.

You'll have a bit of time to relax before you go through some class I and class II whitewater rapids.  You'll need to use your arms (or a rented paddle) to get you to where you need to go and avoid some of the rocks.  But don't worry, while not a "lazy river", it is a drop/pool river -- meaning you'll go through a rapid, some flat water, another rapid, then some more flatwater.  You'll have time to set yourself up and chill after the thrill.  

Sounds fun, right? Read further for more information as these trips work a little differently than our other adventures.

whitewater tubing adventure on the James River, Richmond, Virginia, RVA
whitewater tubing on the James River in Richmond, Virginia, RVA

River City Adventures, LLC

Trip Options

Short-short Trip: Depending on the water level, this trip can last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and half.

Short-long Trip: Depending on water level, this can trip can last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours

For either one of the above options, we drop guests off at the 42nd Street parking lot and you will have a short walk with your tubes to the water. The walk will typically last 5-15 minutes depending on where you put in at. At the end of the trip you have the option of going back up the trail to the place you put on the river and doing the trip again (as many times as you would like). The walk back to the beginning is approximately 15-20 minutes.

Long Trip: Depending on the water level this trip will take 4-6 hours. Depending on the water level this trip will either begin at Pony Pasture or the Wetlands. If you put in at the Wetlands you may have a 5 to 10 minute walk to the river with your tube and/or coolers.

whitewater tubing on the James River, class I-II whitewater in Richmond, VA (RVA), Virginia


 - We only do one tubing trip per day. ALL trips meet at 10:15 a.m. at River City Adventures.

 - Each trip begins with taking care of a bit of paperwork, learning important safety and route information, and transportation to the starting point on the river (after staging your vehicle at the ending point). ​

 - After the safety trip talk you will follow the shuttle bus to Reedy Creek (where the tubing trip ends) and park your vehicle there. Staff will then show you where you will be getting out of the river to ensure that all guests know exactly where to get off the river.

 - The shuttle bus will then take you to 1 of 2 places to put on the river, depending on which trip you have chosen (See trip options below).

​ - Please be patient, this process may take an hour, but the more prepared each group is the smoother this process will be.

 - Once the trip is over you can unplug the air valve and allow all the air to deflate from the tube. You will then be responsible for returning the tubes to our shop location.

 - All tubes must be returned by 6 p.m. to avoid an additional charge of $25 per tube.

Reservations are required in advance for all whitewater trips.  Easily book online if the desired date of your trip is more than 3 days away. If it’s within 3 days of your desired trip, just give us a call. We may be able to still get you on a trip.

Cost:  $25 per person for half shuttle tubing trips Monday through Sunday

  • Cooler Tubes have a rental fee of $5.00 each (black tube that goes around your cooler.
    ​We DO NOT have coolers to rent)
  • Kayak paddles may be rented for an additional $5 (limited availability)​

Signed waivers are required for each person in your group - originals only, no copies! Save time the day of your trip by bringing in waivers that are already signed. Click here for the adult waiver; waivers for minors can be found by clicking here.

What to Bring and Not to Bring

  • All participants must have shoes on their feet that will not come off in order to protect your feet from glass in the river and the walk that you will be making to the river.
  • ​Don't forget sunscreen and drinking water!
  • NO Styrofoam coolers. Plastic coolers no longer than 24 inches are recommended.
  • NO GLASS or ALCOHOL! Glass and Alcohol are PROHIBITED in the James River Park System.