As the Niobrara River is a spring fed river we are lucky to be able to provide float trips any time of the year. Usually, we see a few people in canoes and kayaks in the area by mid-April, weather depending.
During pre-season we offer trips by reservation. We will definitely have our office opened by Memorial Day weekend and continue daily through Labor Day Weekend and beyond. Normally we have trips going out well into mid-October by reservation only. Please be aware that we experience sellout crowds on most Saturdays in July and the first few weeks in August so be sure to reserve well in advance for those dates to avoid disappointment.
The average depth of the river is about 18 inches with the channel averaging about 30 to 36 inches deep. We do have some deeper pools around the high cliff bank areas that could possibly be 4 to 5 foot deep for 50 or more yards at a time. For the most part the water will be knee-deep. Remember, we are here to help you relax on this beautiful, natural river rather than challenge your olympic swimming abilities!
Your payment in full will be required when you reserve the trip. You can pay using a credit/debit card.
If you need to cancel your reservation, please do so 20 days before the day of your reservation. Any trips cancelled after this point will not be refunded. For more information please see our Terms and Conditions page.
It totally depends on the severity of the rain. In the event of light rain we do often to go out on the river as it can be pretty fun floating down in the drizzle. However, your safety is our number one priority so if we deem it unsafe for you and your party to go out on the river we will offer you a rain check which can be used within one year of the scheduled trip.
If it’s raining on your scheduled day we will always check the weather forecast to see if it will brighten up in the afternoon and adjust our schedule when possible to allow you to go out and enjoy the river later in the day!
Sunscreen, insect repellent and sunglasses (ideally with a floating eyeglass holder if you have one). Shoes suitable for wading (not flip flops). A jacket or a sweater for the cooler days.
Plenty of water – some to keep hydrated whilst floating down the river, as well as an extra bottle for when you finish.
Extras: Disposable or waterproof cameras (better to avoid damaging your expensive camera!)
Please be aware that no Styrofoam or glass bottles are allowed for safety reasons.
It totally depends where your trip starts from. The trips which limit alcohol are the 2 hour, 4 hour and 5.5 hour kayak and canoe trips from Ft. Niobrara as they pass through the USFWS Ft. Niobrara Wildlife Refuge. Please be aware that on the 4 hour and 5.5 hour canoe and kayak trip there is a concession stand right by the river at Berry Bridge which sells alcohol that you can enjoy once you’ve passed through the Ft. Niobrara Wildlife Refuge.
The Niobrara Council has worked with local outfitters and land owners to provide vault style toilets at numerous locations on the river. For the most part restrooms are available about every 2 hours on your route.
Yes, when we arrive at the launch point for any activity we will give you a safety briefing and answer any questions you may have.
We think that you know your kids a whole lot better than we do so we leave it up to parental discretion. Parents of kids under 18 will be asked to sign a waiver on behalf of their child.
Over the years we’ve found that even the calmest pets prefer not to join you for this experience. Whilst we’re sure you’ll love your trip down the Niobrara River we can’t guarantee that your pet will too. If you’re still thinking about bringing your pet, please give us a call to discuss their trip and the extra fees attached.
If you wish to take your valuables with you we sell dry bags at our offices. Please feel free to come by and buy as many as you need.
Cell phone service is limited in most areas of the Niobrara River Valley. Overall the service is very unreliable and service will vary a lot among carriers.
If you haven’t signed the waiver prior to your trip or need any specifics on your trip please come by our office located at 1005 E Highway 20, Valentine, NE, 69201. If you have already signed the waiver online, please give us a call a few hours or the day before your activity and let us know where you would like to meet us. You can either take the shuttle or meet us directly at the launch point, it’s your trip!
This is our preferred shuttle option and works very well for most groups. After your morning check–in at the Little Outlaw Office you will drive your own vehicle to the finish site where you will board our shuttle van for a short trip to the launch site area. You will then leisurely float back to your vehicle at your own pace, where you will be responsible to deposit your gear in the area for outfitters equipment, keeping the landing areas clear.
The custom hotel shuttle is an excellent option for those staying in Valentine and surrounding areas who have a tubing adventure booked with us. This option will allow you to enjoy your day on the tubes to the maximum whilst enjoying some cool drinks on your float down the Niobrara. We require 8 people in your group and will shuttle you from your hotel at a prearranged time, take you to the start point and meet you again at the end to drop you back off at your hotel.
If you choose to go with this option, we will do our best to guess the approximate finish time of your group. Please bear in mind that every group is different and we find that the best idea is to give your driver a pre-arranged time. Sometimes this time isn’t wholly accurate which can require waiting from either party. If waiting for a shuttle is not agreeable, please do not book the trip using this custom shuttle service.
Given that you will be floating on a National Scenic River it is recommended you practice the “leave no trace” or “pack it in and pack it out” method. The National Park Service is partnering with other agencies in a trial recycling program for the future.
We have a Campground at Berry Bridge that has tent camping, RV hookups and bunkhouse units available. Picnic tables, fire rings, showers, and restrooms are all provided. Please call 402 376 3474 to reserve.
We often have people requesting other trips than we have listed or wanting to extend their trips. Please contact us if you have any special requests, we can often accommodate people looking for something different!