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Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Colorado 2021

Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Colorado 2021

Colorado Paddleboard

1: Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park

Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park Paddleboard
The first and largest whitewater park built on the Colorado River, Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park is not only our top recommended SUP destination in Colorado but among our top fifteen for the whole nation. It only takes a few minutes to see why, as the whitewater park has been designed by local engineers so that paddleboarders and kayakers can learn how to navigate whitewater safely with an experienced instructors’ aid.

There are four main features at the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park to tackle, ranging from a dedicated training area to the high-intensity main wave where the most advanced paddlers go to compete. Glenwood Springs has a regional airport less than 15 minutes away from the whitewater park, making it an easy to access and top US destination to hit if you’re trying to learn whitewater paddleboarding!

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 239
Distance to Major Cities: Direct access from Glenwood Springs, 4 Hours from Colorado Springs.
Motor Vehicles Allowed: No
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

2: Grand Lake

Grand Lake Paddleboard
The deepest lake in Colorado, Grand Lake, is our top recommendation for those who prefer something a bit more traditional than the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park. Despite its depth, Grand Lake has exceptionally calm waters. With 507 acres of water to explore, it is an ideal place for families and beginner paddlers who are nervous about crashing into other stand up paddleboarders.

If you are into SUP yoga, Grand Lake is the perfect place to search for inner peace as you practice your asanas, thanks to the jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains surrounding the lake. A small town sits on the lakeshore, which is where you’ll want to warm up when you’re done as this is a cool glacial lake, with the water averaging about 55 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. If you’re looking for a place to escape the heat, though, and take in the fresh mountain air, Grand Lake should be your go-to SUP destination in Colorado.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 240
Distance to Major Cities: 2 Hours to Denver
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

3: Lake San Cristobal

Lake San Cristobal Paddleboard
Every state has at least one lake or river that effectively exists for anglers, and in Colorado, that place would be Lake San Cristobal. The crystal blue waters are tranquil, and there is some fun touring to be done as paddlers go around and check out the abandoned silver mines.

However, the real attraction for Lake San Cristobal is the fishing. Rainbow Trout are well stocked by the state of Colorado, and it is also one of a few places within the state where you can catch Kokanee Salmon. If you genuinely want to test your skills, besides the strength of your rod, Lake San Cristobal also has Mackinaw Lake Trout that typically range from 10 to over 30 lbs! If you’re up for a fishing adventure, make sure to visit Lake San Cristobal while you’re exploring southern Colorado.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 277
Distance to Major Cities: 3 Hours to Grand Junction
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

4: Big Soda Lake

Big Soda Lake Paddleboard
Denver has multiple lakes suitable for paddleboarding, but one of the top recommended lakes is Big Soda Lake. Thanks to the restrictions on motor vehicles, the water is very calm. These calm waters are great for families and yogis looking to try out their yoga SUPs. The other major reason for visiting Big Soda Lake is that Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater is located on the water’s edge. If you’ve ever wanted to listen to a concert while floating in the water, Big Soda Lake is the place to do it, with rentals and other guided SUP sessions available at the Soda Lakes Marina.

If you want to stay in Denver but are interested in getting out on the water, Big Soda Lake is a beautiful and easy to reach destination!

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 245
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Denver
Motor Vehicles Allowed: No
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

5: Cherry Creek Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir Paddleboard
Cherry Creek Reservoir is one of the most popular paddleboarding destinations within Denver, and while it can get crowded, there are over 880 acres of water to spread out on and explore. You only have to take a look around to see why Cherry Creek Reservoir is popular. It offers fantastic views that photographers will want to capture, especially on sunny Denver days.

While some might be annoyed by the number of boaters who drive around the water, they create a wake that allows for some light SUP surfing or just competitions with friends to knock each other over. The popularity of Cherry Creek Reservoir also means that you’ll have plenty of instructors and SUP rentals to choose from, making it a comfortable place to paddle while you’re in the Denver area.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 245
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Denver
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

6: Dillon Reservoir

Dillon Reservoir Paddleboard
Head west from Denver, and you’ll be transported to Dillon Reservoir, an expansive lake with over 3,200 acres of water surface and 26.8 miles of coastline to explore. Dillon Reservoir is noteworthy in that it offers a variety of activities that change with the season.

Visit the lake in the winter, and you’ll be in a snowy wonderland with ample opportunities for ice paddling and fishing. Wait until the summer, and you’ll be able to participate in several community wind foiling and racing events—the Colorado Division of Wildlife stocks the Dillon Reservoir with 50,000 Rainbow Trout every year. So, if you want to get away from the city but don’t feel like driving too far, be sure to visit Dillon Reservoir for your next SUP getaway.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 241
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Frisco, 30 Minutes to Denver
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

7: Union Reservoir

Union Reservoir Paddleboard
Union Reservoir is an excellent mixture of almost everything you could want from a lake. The lake is popular enough that you’ll find SUP rental options and instructors, but not so busy that you’ll feel cramped once you’re out on the water. One of the few natural lakes in Colorado, expect to see and take pictures of animals as they come up to the water, including Beavers and Porcupines to rarer and exciting Bighorn Sheep, Moose, and Mountain Goats.

Alternatively, if you do want to try and challenge yourself out at Union Reservoir, local sailing clubs will be happy to instruct you in the art of paddle sailing. You’ll want to visit during the winter for the best wind. Located close but outside of Denver, Union Reservoir is the final great paddleboard destination that we’d suggest checking out while visiting the state of Colorado!

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 245
Distance to Major Cities: 45 Minutes to Denver
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

Conclusion: Plan Your Paddle Board Trip and Have Fun!

Thank you so much for reading our top paddleboarding destinations within the state of Colorado! We hope that you’ve discovered a couple of new places to try out and look forward to hearing about how you enjoyed these lakes, rivers, and reservoirs as you travel.

If you’ve been to these destinations already or have a lake or two that you feel we should include on our Colorado list, be sure to let us know by leaving a comment below or sending us an email with your thoughts. This is the end of our Colorado suggestions, but you can look forward to our top recommended paddleboarding destinations for Connecticut and other states in the near future!

Until then, we also invite you to check out our reviews, instructional guides, and videos here at SUPBoardGuide.com, the content we produce to help our readers become better paddleboarders!

Thank you again for visiting, and we hope you have a wonderful time exploring the blue waters of Colorado!

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Heyo! At SupBoardGuide.com we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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