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Escaping Colorado Springs Heat:Tubing At Tarryall

Posted by Susanna Haynie on August 3, 2012
tarryall river is cold

Tarryall river is cold

Update 2018!!

Just received report from a friend who spent July 4th up in Tarryall tubing! Waterlevels are good, campground (of course) is booked for months, tubing fun is to be had!!!

Go tube your hearts out!


Update Update: I have to be precise 2015

So it is somewhat embarrassing that I didn’t get the creek and river names straight. What I am considering “Tarryall” is actually the South Platte River, however, I hope for forgiveness as the location I am describing is off Tarryall Rd, leading towards the Tarryall reservoir,n where Terryall Creek feeds into. Note Happy Meadows Campground (which I am mainly referring to here in this post) is on the South Platte River, so is Lone Rock Campground. Lone Rock is way further north towards Denver. Spruce Grove Campground is actually on Tarryall Creek. There you have it.

When it gets hot in Colorado Springs, we head into the mountains. Once of the fun places to go is tubing down the Tarryall Creek.


Tarryall Creek is close enough to Colorado Springs, that we can easily do a day trip. Probably about 1hour or so.

Take Hwy 24 to Woodland Park, Divide and Lake George. Take Tarryall Rd (Rd77) on your right and then keep an eye out for a camping sign on your right, also indicating Co Rd 112. This sign should show up not even a mile away from your turn off HWY24. Enter Co Rd 112, at the fork take a right and pick a spot to put in your tubes anywhere.


Yes! So fun! The Tarryall is not very deep and not really a rough ride, there are some areas that are a little bumpy. This year the river is about kneedeep other years it’s been deeper, conditions change all the time. Parents, go first to know for sure if the conditions are appropriate and safe for your kids? All kids should wear life jackets and know how to swim. We had kids as young as 5 years go down it, all with close parental supervision. It takes about 30 minutes to go all the way down. You are going down on your own accord, you take all the responsibility!

Camping close to Tarryall Creek

Camping close to Tarryall Creek


YES! Pick a spot where after tubing you can hang out and watch all the other ‘tubers’ float past. It’s always fun, with lots of laughs a big cooler for food and drinks. Bringing a large sun umbrella or maybe a canopy would be a good idea as there is little shade at the creek. Speaking of sun, use lots of sunscreen otherwise you’ll be roasted  by the end of the day.

Tubing close to colorado springs

Tubing close to Colorado Springs

tubing in Terryall campground Happy MeadowsCamping?

Yup. If you decide that you’d actually like to stay over night there is a dedicated campground (about 8 spaces) “Happy Meadows”- without electricity and I am not even sure if they have water, BUT they have toilets there. The small campground is usually already full by the time we show up but you can plop down in other spaces along the river – maybe further up the road though. We have actually never been able to reserve a camping spot at the little camp ground ==>Make reservations here, but we’ve always managed to find something somewhere else.

Close by:

SPRUCE GROVE CAMPGROUND, CO – this one looks great and is only a few miles up the road. Ideally, we can go motorbike riding in the morning and in the afternoon tubing . Sounds perfect. Tarryall Creek Tubing

Further up north:

LONE ROCK CAMPGROUND, CO – South Platte River tubing

2 thoughts on “Escaping Colorado Springs Heat:Tubing At Tarryall

  • Elisa Risner
    on July 22, 2016

    Hello! I was reading your information about tubing. We are picking up some cadets to take them out for the day. How far is this tubing site from USAFA? Do you have directions? Thank you!

  • Amy
    on June 14, 2017

    Do you know of any places close to Happy Meadows where tubes can be rented? Please let me know as we are heading to the area in a few weeks!

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