Play: Tubing the Pinawa Channel

This beautiful hot weather we’re getting this week is the perfect weather for tubing down your favourite river. Have you been tubing down the Pinawa Channel? It is a very scenic route and takes approximately 2 hours. You will be exiting/finishing at the suspension bridge (YES – Pinawa has a suspension bridge!), so if you’re dropping off a vehicle at the end point, please read below for instructions on how to get there.

The Pinawa Channel is easy to find (and so is Pinawa!). Take 59 North to 44 and 44 East to Hwy 11 (44 will jog down through the East side of Beausejour and then head East again by the Tim Hortons). After you turn onto hwy 11, take the turn off to Pinawa (not the one to Seven Sisters, the one after that) – Hwy 211. Follow that all the way to the very end of it, and you’ll find a parking area. (PS – did you notice the golf course? It’s gorgeous!). If you’re dropping off a vehicle at the end point (suspension bridge), just before you get into Pinawa turn left on Alice Chambers Trail (watch for cemetery sign). There will be parking across from the cemetery.

map to pin

After you get to your parking spot at the end of 211, walk straight ahead along the trail. You will be walking over the diversion dam. The view to your left will look like this:

IMG_7459

The access point is easy, and the channel itself fun to tube down. Please do not throw litter or empties into the water, and take out anything that you bring with you! We urge all of our readers to practice “leave no trace”, and pack out what you pack in.

What you may see:

  • deer
  • turtles
  • otters
  • birds
  • other people tubing, canoeing, kayaking, etc
  • When you see the suspension bridge, it’s time to exit the water! To your left just BEFORE the bridge, there is a landing area!

No tubes? No worries! Get hold of Wilderness Edge Resort in Pinawa. They rent out tubes, zodiacs etc for a very reasonable price and will even drive you to the channel and pick you up at the suspension bridge (it’s pretty awesome actually, you don’t even need to be staying there!)

Where to grab some grub:

  • Pinawa Golf Course
  • THE BURGER BOAT! (Yes, we’re yelling that because buying a burger off a boat is seriously fun and they also have milkshakes and ice cream that is also delicious).

 

 

Have fun and stay safe exploring the beautiful little town of Pinawa! If you plan on spending a full day there, there are lots of hiking and walking trails, the suspension bridge, a golf course, a giant sundial, and lots and lots of deer, birds and other wildlife!

Sharing our passion of exploring the 204 (Manitoba, Canada) From scenic hikes, to small town day trips, to places to grub. Not only will we be explaining how to get there, we'll share personal experiences too! P.S : Most of these exciting and delicious experiences are in rural Manitoba. Enjoy.

56 comments on “Play: Tubing the Pinawa Channel

  1. How much is this and how often do u have this event is there a age restiction
    I would like to take my 15 yr old but due to a broken collarbone i was wondering when ur next tubing event is he would love it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cathy, it’s not an even that we run, it’s a public location that you can visit any time (for free!). If you want to rent tubes from Wilderness Edge, I believe that they charge about $6/person? (I’m not sure if they have a minimum number of people required). Of course, you can take your own tubes as well! Happy tubing and have fun!

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      • Wilderness Edge charges $20/tube unless you stay at their resort in which case it is $10. Eduvacay is the newest provider and they are $15/tube and have options for backrests and cup holders on their tubes. If you value customer service, a personal touch and comfort, I recommend Eduvacay. These guys are too easy to deal with.

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  2. I’ve done this before up to the suspension bridge, lots of fun. I’ve heard of folks continuing all the way to the old dam, but can’t find any concrete information on this. Is there any negative to this aside from navigating the rapids before the old dam which I’ve seen people swimming in/down before?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rob! That route is best done via canoe or kayak. I have done it and there is one set of rapids that you may want to portage around (you’ll know when you get up to them, and there is a jut out that makes it easy to portage over) – these aren’t the ones right at the old Pinawa Dam. When you get close to the Dam site, you will be able to easily exit prior to those rapids you mentioned. By the way, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can body surf down those rapids! We will be writing about the Old Pinawa Dam site in an upcoming post πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting!

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  3. Hi, I don’t see a start time..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Gwen! If you’re planning on renting a tube then it would be best to contact Wilderness Edge directly. As far as I know, it’s on your own schedule and not a guided tour, although they may offer guided tours too. If you take your own tube you can go any time you want!

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  4. Where is the BBQ and what time?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lenore Chartrand

    I would love to try this but am not overly experienced with water so I am a little nervous. Is this a calm water that inexperienced people such as myself could do without a problem?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lenore, thanks for visiting! Yes, the water is pretty calm for most of it. We suggest wearing a lifejacket too! There are a few spots where the current picks up a little, but mostly it is a nice and calm, relaxing venture πŸ™‚

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  6. Krystyn McKenzie

    This looks like a lot of fun!

    I know you said that the actual tubing takes about 2 hours, but how far away (by driving) are you from the beginning once you get to the end point? Like, would it be best to go out in two vehicles and leave one at the end point and one at the start point to drive back to?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s just over 3km to walk back by foot. Maybe about half an hour to 40 mins? It’s definitely doable, but may feel like a really long way if it’s a hot day after tubing for several hours. Depending how many people you go with, you may want to have someone drop you off with the tubes, then drive the car to the suspension bridge (or at least closer) and come back by foot before starting the tubing, especially if that person is a brisk walker haha.

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    • (so yes, we do recommend taking two vehicles if that’s an option for you.)

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  7. Gee whiz – quit telling people about us! But seriously, tubing the Pinawa Channel is amazing but PLEASE pack out your trash. If the garbage can at the Suspension Bridge is full, just take it home with you. For Pinawa hiking information check out my blog at http://traillady.com/

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    • Hey Donna, Thanks for checking out our page. Pinawa sure is a beautiful place! I will make sure to add that blip into our post, we cannot stress enough for the cleaning of litter and garbage!

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  8. Is this safe for children? I have 7 year old and 12 year old girls and they would love this! Does wilderness edge rent life jackets? Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Chris! You know your children better than we do, but I would think that as long as there is adult supervision they would be ok! Wilderness Edge also rents out zodiacs if you wanted to try that first to see what the channel is like πŸ™‚ Yes, I’m pretty sure that Wilderness Edge rents out lifejackets, but please confirm that with them directly πŸ™‚ If/when you go, let us know what your girls thought of it! Thanks!

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  9. Hi, is the water wide enough to use a big party island? I brought one when we did tubing in St Malory once and it was a bit too big for that water.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm… good question and I’m not sure to be honest! There are some narrower areas… maybe someone who has been there more often can chime in on this one. Thanks for visiting!

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  10. Hi There! I don’t see any mention of where the tube ride begins… unless I missed it. Where do we get in? And do you know of a current water level situation? I was swimming at the old Pinawa Dam just last weekend and the water level was very low…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Follow the road right to the very end and then get out of your car and walk along the path for 100 feet or so and you’ll see it! I’m not sure what the water levels are at, but I do know that there have been people tubing lately!

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  11. Hi, How deep is the water? Do we need life jackets to go tubing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have no idea how deep the water is but life jackets are always a good idea!

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    • If you’re worried about water depth, consider tubing Brokenhead River instead. It’s nearby (Beausejour area) and the river is slower and shallower. On a slow day, the ride takes 3 hours. On a fast day, just over 1 hour. πŸ™‚

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      • SK have you tubed the brokenhead lately? We heard that there’s some sort of man-made dam by the campground that is causing a lot of people a lot of injuries when they tumble over it on tubes.

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  12. How is it for paddleboarding?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi there! My friend and I are very interested in tubing this channel. A few questions s though. How deep is the water? Are there any rapid areas where you don’t have 100% control? Are there certain hours that you have to be at the end point to get a ride to the start point? And finally, you can rent just single tubes, and not a 8 to 10 tube, is this correct?

    Thanks so much!
    Colleen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi!
      The water depth varies from “almost scraping your butt along rocks” to “you can get off your tube and swim”. I don’t know the exact depths of the water, sorry. There are a couple of places with small rapids, but they are not crazy and wild. Just watch for rocks. Please contact wilderness edge directly for tube rental details and to arrange for pickup at the end of that’s what you want. We’re not affiliated with them, we just added a link to their site to help people out who may prefer to rent a tube πŸ™‚ (but yes they are the smaller tubes)

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  14. Hi, you say you can park your vehicle at the suspension bridge and then walk ~3km to the diversion dam to begin the trip. Which is the best path to take for this walk? Along the highway, or is there a walking path along the river? Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Along the highway! There is a path that goes there once you cross over the suspension bridge but it’s a LOT longer! Save that one for a hiking day 😊

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  15. edward boehmer

    thanks explorethe204… I am looking forward to checking this out! pinawa is a beautiful place to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting our site! Yes it is beautiful and we will be adding more posts about Pinawa and the surrounding area in the near future!

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  16. thanks explore the 204….I am wondering if it is easy to get out at the suspension bridge? I am taking my 15yr, 13yr, 10yr old (so excited!) I just want to make sure that we all get out at the end and one of the kids don’t continue on past the suspension bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh awesome!! Yes it is pretty easy! When you see the suspension bridge just start making your way to the left side of the river. There’s a pretty flat area where you can get out of your tube and get out. The water is pretty shallow there too and the current isn’t very strong in that spot so you should be fine. 😁 have fun!

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    • It’s super easy to get out at the suspension bridge! Once you see the bridge, head to the far left side (facing the bridge) and you’ll see a clearing/landing to get out. I had my 4yr old nephew with our group and he just needed someone to hold his hand and he was good!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi there! Love this post.
    Just wondering, do you know how many tubes Wilderness Edge has to rent?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! Thanks! No idea actually as we’re not affiliated with them but when we rented ours they had a huge pile of them. If you’re booking a large group I’d suggest booking ahead with them in case they have other groups booked!

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    • Hounestly id go to Walmart and buy a river tube there strong material and super comfy wth a back rest . Way better than the ones they rent at the edge .

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  18. Thank you very much for the info. This sounds very fun. Do you know where the nearest camping would be to the beginning, or better yet, the end? Thank you for any info. I appreciate it

    Liked by 1 person

    • The one thing that Pinawa really lacks is public camping! If you’re looking for somewhere that close for camping I think you may be out of luck. Sorry.

      Like

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  21. Anyone know how far the pinawa motel is to the parking lot to begin tubing?

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    • The motel or Wilderness Edge? Both are within walking distance, but are about 1.5 km away

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    • If you rent tubes from Eduvacay 1.888.456.7767 we will transport you to and from your car. Or you can park in the suspension bridge lot and we will drive you to the start so your car is waiting for you at the end of the run. We also have a very small β€œtoonie shuttle only” fee if you aren’t renting from us and if we are available to drive. It depends on the day and volume of people. We also do canoe and kayak rentals, guided trips day trips, and overnight camping trips (all gear supplied). We are on insta and FB @eduvacay /eduvacay.com and our new site will be up very soon with fantastic season specials!

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  22. I understand there is a small waterfall too? Is this on basic the tubing route?

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    • Hi Bunny, I think that you may be thinking of one a little further down the channel that is on the canoe/kayak route to the old Pinawa Dam. (Or at Old Pinawa Dam)

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      • Are we able to go to it with the tubes? Or is there any other way to see the waterfall? Or is it only accessible on the canoe/kayak? Only asking because a friend of mine went last summer on their tubes and I had my heart set on trying to get to it!

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    • Hmmm… I would ask your friends where exactly they saw it. They may be thinking of the smaller rapids area(s) on the route before the suspension bridge, or maybe they drove out to the dam afterwards and were talking about the waterfall areas there? The full route from Pinawa to the old Pinawa Dam is 4-5 hours by canoe, and it’s not a route that you can easily exit if you change your mind part way through after passing the suspension bridge. Also please keep in mind that you would definitely need a vehicle at the dam or someone to pick you up there. Both tubing the Pinawa channel and a visit to the old dam are very feasible to do in one day, and both are so beautiful and worth the visit. My suggestion would be to tube the channel starting at 10am, pick up lunch in Pinawa afterwards (burgers from the burger boat or picnic lunch from Solo Market), and head to the Dam (it’s an 11 minute drive – take hwy 520 off 211) and have a picnic lunch there before exploring that park. Have fun!

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  24. Very scenic, water warm a bit dirty easy to enter and exit. I was lucky and got a ride back to starting point from other Tubers. It was windy and the wind was against us making it very slow in fact we would be going the wrong way unless we paddled with our arms like mad. Would be better if it was faster. Kids couldn’t wait for the end.

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    • The channel is a great float….just not when there is a strong wind, unless it is blowing from the east! I’ve been to a few floats and Pinawa seems the cleanest to me by far. It can be very busy on weekends but weekdays are pretty relaxed. The tube rental places in Pinawa (EduVacay and Wildeness Edge) both provide shuttles for convenience. There are also great hiking and biking options and canoe/kayak rentals available to combine with a float to make it a full day!

      Liked by 1 person

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