A cheeky reusable container peeks out over the edge of a personal cooler on the banks of the San Marcos River

Coming to play in the San Marcos River?
We have a few new rules to keep in mind when planning your visit.

Read More

Rio Vista Park

Rio Vista Park is a great place to put your kayak in and paddle upstream or go for a refreshing swim. It's not uncommon to see surfers in the rapids and sunbathers along the river banks. The San Marcos River is part of a delicate aquifer system, so please be mindful of what you do in and around its waters. This is also the point of pick-up for the Lions Club Tube shuttle. Bring your own tube or rent one from Lions Club upstream at City Park

The amenities include restrooms, tennis courts, 1/2 basketball court, benches, a pavilion, City swimming pool, hike/bike trails, and trash cans.

There are no admission or parking fees.

River & Park Tips: 

  • Remember, this is a natural-forming river. Children and inexperienced swimmers should wear life vests. 
  • Don’t litter! Bring a litter bag or use the mesh bag provided by the Lions Club. Trash cans are located along the banks of the river.
  • Wear Sunscreen.
  • Wear hats and/or sunglasses that you won't mind losing.
  • Bring a waterproof pouch or zip-loc freezer bag for necessities. Recommendation: leave valuables in the car or at home/hotel room.
  • Water shoes or athletic shoes are recommended. There may be rocks in some areas.
  • Drink liquids to stay hydrated. 
  • Coolers and disposable containers are allowed on the San Marcos river. Please no styrofoam.
  • Secure lids on all coolers. 
  • Designated access and exits points are located at City Park and Rio Vista for those who bring alcohol to consume while on the river. 
  • Please, no Styrofoam-type products in the river including coolers, ice chests, cups, plates, disposable containers, toys, floats, kickboards, rings or swim gear.
  • Bring rope if you want to tie multiple tubes together.
  • Alcohol on city owned dams, spillways and bridges is not allowed.
  • Bring an ID, Credit Card or cash if you are renting a tube.  Lions Club sells snacks and beverages at the beginning and end of their float.


When the temperatures start to rise in Texas, it’s time to hit the San Marcos River for a float trip. And it surely doesn’t get much better than spending a sunny day floating down…


Not all San Marcos-based water activities involve legs leisurely dangled over an inner tube. In fact, the latest water craze involves swimsuit-clad adventures standing on top of what looks…