Tubing/Kayaking Update

May 31, 2023

Current flow through Deckers, below the bridge, is 391cfs. This would be  on the high end of floating the South Platte. Along with this higher flow, the water temperature is a chilly 59 degrees. When the flow is at this rate it’s best to avoid the upper Deckers area and stick to the lower end of the river. It tends to present more of a rocky/rapid section that can be a little too much if you were expecting a casual float, not to mention could be terrifying for some kids. From Bridge Crossing down to the confluence, you’ll have about 12 miles of floatable river.  Please read the safety information below, as this should be your number one priority.  Also, please keep in mind the rules around parking, camping, and day-use areas as you enjoy your time on the South Platte. BRING CASH! You cannot use your debit/credit card to pay for day-use fees. Please be aware that you will have to pay for each vehicle that enters the day-use area parking lots. What this specifically means is that ALL vehicles that are utilizing the parking lot must pay the $10 day-use fee. There is NO FREE TEMPORARY PARKING at the day-use areas along the river. Season passes for access to the day-use areas are only $100. Thanks for continuing to support the website and our National Forests.


Tubing/Paddle Boarding/Kayaking


Tubing & Paddle Boarding Deckers

As Deckers has been know for many years as a World Class Fly-fishing destination and outdoor Mecca, the area has increasingly become popular for tubing, paddle boarding, and Kayaking. As the South Platte River flows below Cheesman Reservoir, passing through the  small town of Deckers & Trumbull,  the river takes on a mild, yet sometimes unpredictable character, particularly during a high run-off  season. Float fishing and walk-and-wade fishing are very popular through this area. Please respect private property when floating. Although the law allows the passage through most private property, by floating through these sections only, you are required to obey any and all private property boundaries and any posted private property signs. 
Safety Tips!

1. Always wear a life vest. It’s hard to judge how swiftly moving water is flowing, which is why authorities always recommend you – and specially your children – always wear a live vest.

2. Avoid high-level streams. Do not go into streams when they are running high or near bankfull. Those streams can be very dangerous.

3. Be weather-alert. Stay up-to-date with current weather conditions as well as stream conditions for the area where you’ll be tubing.

4. Know how to swim. You really should know how to swim in case you flip over. A life vest should not be your only option of stay afloat.

5. Wear a helmet. Our rivers are rocky and head injuries are common while tubing. Even a bike helmet will work.

6. Do not wear flip-flops. Don’t go into the river with loose-fitting shoes. Wear something with traction like aqua shoes or sneakers.

7. Leave valuables at home. If you have a medical condition, however, wear a medical

Access to Access

Deckers to Bridge Crossing Picnic Ground (Platte River Campground): 4 miles
Bridge Crossing Picnic Ground (Platte River Campground) to Scraggy View Picnic Ground: 4.2 miles
Scraggy View Picnic Ground to Willow Bend Picnic Ground: 1.8 miles
Willow Bend Picnic Ground to Confluence with North Fork: 6 miles
Total Mileage: 16 miles

Day Use Area Information

Along the S.Platte River there are many areas to park and launch your craft! However, there are a few things you should be aware of, as the volume of people visiting the area has grown tremendously over the last few seasons. As an employee of Rocky Mountain Recreation Company myself, I would to explain a few things about the fee based day-use areas and the public parking areas. If you are planning to access one of the fee based areas, which are Bridge Crossing, Platte River Campground/Day use, Ouzel Campground/Day use, Scraggy View, Willow Bend, or Osprey Campground/Day use areas, be prepared to pay the $8 fee. Remember to bring cash or a check. Rocky Mountain Recreation does not accept credit or debit cards at this time. Each vehicle entering the parking lot will be expected to pay the $8 fee, as space in this parking lot is limited.  This includes using the restrooms, stopping to inflate your floatation device, use of  picnic tables and grilling areas, or simply accessing the river through the parking areas. If you are planning to bring multiple vehicles to any of these fee based parking areas and get out of the vehicle for any period of time, you will be expected to pay the $8 fee. Allowing multiple vehicles to stop and occupy parking space without paying the $8 fee, is preventing those that are willing to pay the fee, the opportunity to do so. Along the South Platte River, from Deckers Corner to Nighthawk(Pine Creek Rd) there are 16 free public parking areas and 2 public restrooms.

Kayking Deckers-Deckers to Confluence, South Platte River (Class II–III)

Located below Cheesman Reservoir, this scenic stretch traverses the South Platte’s rolling granite terrain from the town of Deckers to the confluence with the North Fork. Easy access and several fun rapids at moderate water levels make this a great beginner to intermediate run.

Put-in: Deckers

Take-out: The confluence of the North and South forks (near South Platte)

Don’t Forget to Check the Flows! In our opinion, the optimal flow range for floating the South Platte through Deckers, is from 130cfs-400cfs. Check the graph below to get the “Real Time” flow, for Deckers.

South Platte River

  • Streamflow: 284 ft³/s
  • Gage height: 3.72 ft
Streamflow GraphGage height Graph