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Discovery Canyon offers tubing tips to avoid the crowds

Consider weekday visits or arrive later on weekends to beat the rush

Red Deer’s Discovery Canyon is a tuber’s paradise and heatwave oasis.

However, the popular venue at River Bend Golf and Recreation Area has become a victim of its own success. Last weekend, so many families arrived to take part in the fun the facility was overwhelmed with dozens of vehicles parked up the road leading into the site.

River Bend general manager Rob MacPherson said while it’s great to see so many enjoying the tubing river and lagoon crowds are getting bigger than it can handle to ensure all have a good time.

“Weekends on warm summer days are off-the-chart busy,” said MacPherson, who was busy last weekend doing traffic control because so many vehicles loaded with families showed up.

More of the same will likely be the story later this week and into next weekend with temperatures in the high 20s C and low 30s C forecast beginning Wednesday and running through the weekend.

“Monday to Friday is typically a better day to come because (Sunday) was crazy down here. It was nuts. It gets to the point where it’s too busy.

“We want people to come and enjoy it and not have to stand in lineups all day.”

Discovery Canyon has 400 inner tubes available in stacks available to those who purchase a $6 wristband. All were in use for most of the day and many other people showed up with their own tubes, giving a sense of just how busy the attraction can get.

“We sold 600 wristbands (Sunday). That’s only the people buying wristbands. You can bring your own tubes.”

For those who can’t make a weekday trip, MacPherson suggests arriving early or holding off until later in the afternoon. Discovery Canyon is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

“We’re open to 7 p.m., so if you were to come at 3-4 p.m. it’s typically starting to ease up by then. The busiest time is from noon until 3 p.m. and then after 3 p.m. people start to leave and it’s a little more manageable later in the day.”

MacPherson said the wristband system was introduced last year and has proven very popular. Previously, people could rent inner tubes but had to return them to avoid an additional charge. It also led to inner tubes being tied up for hours even though they were not being used.

The new system allows tubers to take one when they need it and return it to the stack when they are taking a break. It has worked very well, he said.

Discovery Canyon opened June 1 and runs until Labour Day.

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