Cowichan River Tubing is Great Fun for the Whole Family

Outdoor Adventures

On a hot summer day there’s great family fun to be had by tubing down the Cowichan River, near Duncan BC on Vancouver Island. The beautifully clear water and stunning scenery add to the adventure.  The trip down the river takes a couple of leisurely hours.  Some of the operators offer a shuttle service to take you back to your car.

Tubing is outdoor fun where you get to ride on large inflated inner tubes (think the size of a truck tire)  down a river. There are wild rides and tame ones. The Cowichan River tubing is the tame version.

Fun for the Whole Family

Tubing is fun for the whole family including children and seniors as you don’t do any “work” as you just float down the river. Of course, small children would need to be with adults.

There are single and double tubes available.  The double tubes are little more difficult to maneuver and works best with the cooperation of your partner.

Once in the water you just freely float down the river for as long as you want.

Cowichan River Info

Cowichan is derived from the Coast Salish word ‘Khowutzun’, which means “land warmed by the sun” and is a very apt description.  The river flows from Cowichan Lake ending at Cowichan Bay, a large ocean estuary. The Cowichan Valley enjoys some of the warmest temperatures in Canada.

Tubing Tips

  • Secure your car keys and valuables.
  • Use a life jacket if you have any fear of the water.
  • The river bed is rocky so bring suitable footwear.
  • You will be in the water for a couple of hours so protect yourself and family with sun screen, caps or t-shirts.
  • Supervise your children as there are no lifeguards.
  • Bring water to drink in plastic bottles not glass.

Cowichan River Tubing

Tube Provider

The Lake Cowichan Adventure Company aka The Tube Shack
The Tube Shack provide tubes and a complimentary shuttle service back to the starting point.
109 Southshore Rd, Lake Cowichan, BC V0R2G0  (under the Dermod & Dudley’s Irish Pub)
Tel: 250-510-7433

Getting to Lake Cowichan

From Trans Canada Highway 1 near Duncan take the Lake Cowichan highway 18 west for about 20 minutes to  the Town of Lake Cowichan.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.

Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.


  1. Great article Doug, I’m so pleased to have the contacts for the shuttle service.
    It would be great to know if anyone is doing a similar service on the Nanaimo River?

  2. Doug – it is misguiding to say “a couple of hours” – the trip from Lake Cowichan to Skutz Falls (depending on river levels and flow rates) which is only HALF of the way to Duncan, is anywhere from seven to eight hours and there are only a few take-out points.

    People are well advised to do their research before heading out.

    The water is cold and hypothermia can occur, even in the midst of the summer.

  3. The trip from Stolz pool to White Bridge in Duncan is much safer and still very pristine in areas.I find the Cowichan to be the perfect size and temperature river for tubing.Not to big to be dangerous and not to small to be boring.And because it is lake runoff,quite warm water compared to most rivers.

    • Thank you for giving this information


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