Ideal spots to float lazily on hot summer days

Here are five places where you could tube today:

1. San Juan River, Pagosa Springs, Colo.

Float on the scenic San Juan River through this historic small town known for its rich geological and cultural history. Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, the Southwestern Ute originally called the town Pagosah, which means "healing waters." If you enjoy your first one-hour float, circle back for another turn. Shuttle and rental prices are good for the day. Later, stop by for a soak in the hot springs. Contact: PagosaOutside.com; VisitPagosaSprings.com.

2. Salt River, Mesa, Ariz.

Blue herons, soaring hawks, majestic saguaros, and rust-colored canyons are your scenic backdrop while floating through the Tonto National Forest on the lower Salt River, near Mesa and Scottsdale. Locals talk of enjoying a "floating picnic" on hot summer days. Two-, three- and five-hour floats are possible, and tube rentals are available. Children must be at least 8 years old. The desert sun is intense, so be sure to hydrate and wear plenty of sunscreen. Contact: www.saltrivertubing.com

3. Madison River, near Ennis, Mont.

Known as a destination for fly fishermen, during the warmest months of summer, a wide and relatively shallow stretch of the lower Madison River draws attention for its "bikini hatch." Families slather on the sunscreen, flop into tubes, and enjoy floating under the big sky. Expect spectacular mountain scenery, puffy, white clouds, and hawks, herons, and eagles. Contact: www.madisonrivertubing.com; visitmt.com.

4. Boise River, Boise, Idaho.

Visitors to Idaho's capital can enjoy a scenic six-mile float through the city's well-preserved river habitat. Cranes, hawks, and deer are as plentiful as those who relax and cool off on the waterway during summers. The Boise Parks and Recreation Department has established rest stops along the main floating route. Visitors can rent tubes, rafts, and safety gear from Boise River Raft & Tube. Discounts on Salmon River rafting trips are also possible from the same outfitter. Contact: www.cityofboise.org/boiseriver/; http://boiseriverraftandtube.com/shuttle-services-hours-of-operation/

5. Plantation Float, Kauai, Hawaii.

Join Kauai Backcountry Adventures for a float through ditches and tunnels hand-dug more than a century ago by workers on the former Lihue sugar plantation. The water flow originates high in the mountains and enables adventurers age 5 and older to relax and enjoy a unique experience while taking in views of the ocean, coastline, mountains, and valleys of this picturesque tropical island. End the experience with a picnic next to a natural swimming hole. Contact: www.kauaibackcountry.com/tubing.html