Winter paddle boarding in the US

The Best Locations for Winter Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the Western US

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The Best Locations for Winter Stand Up Paddle BoardingWhen a person thinks about the great outdoors they often imagine lush greenery, wild meadows filled with flowers, and blue skies. However, for those enthusiasts who simply love being outside, no matter the time of year offers equally fantastic and breath-taking views. Winter paddle boarding is a fantastic way to get away and absorb these breath-taking views all to yourself. 

If you have the right head about yourself, and the proper gear, it can be as comfortable and relaxing as lounging on the beach. For those that enjoy their solitude, winter paddle boarding is the perfect way to find some inner peace away from the hustle and bustle of a city.

What is Winter Paddle Boarding?

Winter Paddle Boarding is a water sport enjoyed by many. In contrast to surf or wind boarding, where the forces of nature provide locomotion, in paddle boarding movement is done by the surfer. Often by kneeling or laying on the board and paddling with the hands. Otherwise, it can be done standing with a paddle. In winter paddle boarding the surfer will wear a thick wetsuit to provide warmth and comfort from the elements.

The Best Winter SUP Locations

Here are some excellent winter locations for paddle boarding that boast spectacular nature views and some nice local attractions to unwind at when the day is nearing its end.

Lake Tahoe, California - Winter SUP Views for Miles

Lake Tahoe in the Winter time

Lake Tahoe offers spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. During summer, the area is filled with the hustle and bustle of people hiking and exploring the surrounding views and various trails.

Paddle Boarding during winter offers the exquisite views of the Sierra’s covered in snow. Nothing really quite says peaceful like sitting on your board in the middle of the lake and meditating in the natural splendor offered here.

When you come off the lake and dry out, Homewood Mountain Resort is right on the edge of the lake. The Homewood resort is a good place to kick your feet up and revel in your day. If you find yourself in the mood they offer skiing and snowboarding there, as well as having a beer & brats bar called the Big View Blue Bar.

Columbia River, Oregon - SUP Down River to the Craft Beer

Columbia River Oregon SUP in winter

The Columbia River is the single largest river in the Pacific Northwest. The river starts in the Rockies in British Columbia, Canada, and flows through Washington State and Oregon before finally reaching the Pacific Ocean. The river is a bloodline of the area, being crucial to the economy and trade of the area since before the state was established.

Paddle Boarding is easily accessible on the river through Oregon, as well as having some of the best views offered along the route it flows. The Columbia River Gorge is one such location, offering views of waterfalls and scenic mountain vistas. The area the Gorge is located in is rich with local breweries and offers some of the areas locally grown wines. Our favorite in Full Sail Brewing due to great beer, awesome views, and always a fun atmosphere. 

Salmon Bay, Washington - Avoid the Summer Crowds

SUP in Seattle in Winter

Salmon Bay is a different option on this list in the sense that it is located near the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. Salmon bay is a canal that is part of the Washington Ship Canal, linking Lake Washington to Puget Sound. This a great destination for those living in Seattle to get out of the home and workplace to find a little quiet time on the water. Seattle is a scenic city in and of itself, Salmon Bay offers a different kind of view for winter paddle boarders, giving a perspective of the city not seen by most.

Fremont itself is a quaint bohemian neighborhood unlike anything else in the United States. It boasts statues and quirky shops that a person could spend a day getting lost in. If you do happen to go here, keep an eye out for the Fremont Troll stowed away under one of the bridges in this neighborhood.

Need a paddle board but don’t want to break the bank? See our reviews of the best paddle boards for under 500$ .

best Stan up paddle board under $500

Colorado River, Moab UT - Paddle in the Desert in the Winter

Winter SUP in Moab Utah

Utah is known as God’s Country for good reason. The state itself boasts some of the most spectacular views in the country, boasting many different scenic opportunities due to the geography offered. 

In Moab water sports are huge, being a big destination for whitewater rafting and kayaking. While some of the Colorado River is great for whitewater, it does have some calmer sections easily paddle boarded. For a paddle boarder winter provides the best opportunity to get away and enjoy the desert splendor without the noise of the crowd. Taking in the desert plateaus and rich indigenous history of the landscape can give you the eerie sense of a stranger in a strange land.

The petroglyphs, rock art, of the areas have been in and around Moab for thousands of years. The indigenous people of the area have a complex history that can be seen painted onto the rock walls of the area. If you are in the area paddleboarding during winter, it is also an excellent opportunity to get out and obverse a unique portion of human-kinds past in the area, from the art to the caves these people used to inhabit.

Lake Powell and Lake Mead - Endless Winter Paddle Boarding

Lake Powel for SUP in the winter

Lake Powell is located near the Grand-Escalante Staircase National Monument and the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. It boasts a unique shape as a lake, having carved itself from the red sandstone of the area. With many different nooks and crannies, Lake Powell is just begging to be explored from a paddle board.

If you happen to be an outdoor enthusiast and purist, the surrounding National Areas have unspoiled cliffs just waiting to be stumbled across.

Lake Mead is a destination not far from Las Vegas. If you have to be in Vegas for a few days over winter and need to get out of the city for a minute, Lake Mead offers the perfect destination to get some winter paddle boarding in.  Being a man-made lake, Lake Mead was formed by the Hoover Dam, which is a huge popular monument and feat of engineering that can be seen while on the lake.

Lake Havasu, Arizona - Get Summer SUP Conditions in Winter

Lake Havasu is located in western Arizona and has over 400 miles of coastline. The local scenery of Lake Havasu is surrounded by rolling hills and short cliffs. Distant mountains, the Hualapai and Aquarius mountains, are also in view. Lake Havasu is a popular recreational area during the summer, the winter months when the population of incoming tourists trickle-down make it an ideal winter paddle boarding location.

With Lake Havasu’s proximity to the city of Havasu, find a great place to eat or show is as simple as walking off one of the many beaches and asking a local.

A really cool monument that can be seen while paddle boarding is the London Bridge. The bridge itself is originally from England, and has been relocated to Havasu in another awesome feat of human engineering.


With all of these amazingly scenic locations available, any paddle boarding enthusiast with a sense of adventure and a cold-weather wetsuit has days, if not weeks of exploration available to them. From the unique perspective of a paddle board, winter offers a different view of the great outdoors, which is just as splendid as summer if not filled with a little more wonder.

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