Summer days might be waning but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy that warmer weather! And there’s nothing more relaxing than gliding across a mountain lake on a paddleboard under a bluebird Colorado sky. This form of nature therapy is a wonderful way to reset and to squeeze in a low-impact cross-training workout.
Here’s where to paddleboard in Breckenridge, Vail, Winter Park and Denver this summer.
A stone’s throw from Gravity Haus Breck in Main Street Station, Maggie Pond is a sweet flatwater in-town spot for beginners. Gain your sea legs on the smooth water, drink in the views of the sprawling Ten Mile mountain range and break for craft brews on the patio at Quandary Grille. Ready for a challenge? Take a SUP yoga class with Gravity Haus partner Bhava Yoga.
When you’re ready for a larger landscape, toss your SUP onto Lake Dillon and navigate inlets and islands at 9,000 feet. The spacious lake is home to loads of wildlife — look up for massive eagle nests — and sandy beaches flanked by stunning peaks on all sides. Both Frisco and Dillon offer full-service marinas, tiki bars and parks that make glorious summer paddling pit stops.
If you’re feeling brave and craving a faster pace, take a trip to the Colorado River near Rancho del Rio (guided tour recommended) and cruise downstream, paddling sets of Class II rapids and maneuvering boulders through a gorgeous remote canyon. Engage those abs and get ready for an adventure!
The Vail Valley keeps SUP-ers smiling with ponds, lakes and river galore. Hit the glassy petite paddling gem that is Eagle-Vail Pond. Great for a short spin after work, bring the kids and a picnic and visit the adjacent Eagle Vail playground.
In the heart of Avon, Nottingham Lake is a high country favorite for beaching, pedal boating and SUPing. The serene spot is perfect for relaxing and getting some distance under your board with lush green slopes hugging the lake and opportunities for SUP yoga and intense games of SUP lacrosse played with a soccer ball inside a floating field with goals.
For a little seclusion and a pristine mountain-soaked shoreline, drive the 12 back-road miles from Vail to Piney Lake. The tucked-away Gore Range ranch and resort offers canoes and SUPs and delicious barbecue to be enjoyed by the fire pit.
Just down the road in Eagle, 42-acre Sylvan Lake is the quintessential high-mountain lake experience. Paddle around the Colorado state park, take in the White River National Forest vistas, bring the dog and kids and stay the night in one of the park’s yurts, cabins or 46 campsites.
Lake Granby is a spectacular stand-up paddleboard experience with plenty of coves to dip into and amazing Rocky Mountain views. Colorado’s largest natural body of water, Grand Lake offers beaches, marinas and miles upon miles of pristine shoreline to cruise. Give yourself a full day or two to explore this expansive high-altitude treasure.
Grand County is Colorado’s land of lakes and there’s no shortage of postcard-perfect SUP destinations. Make Winter Park your home base and branch out for day trips to Williams Fork Reservoir near Parshall where 1,860 surface acres of blue water awaits. Tip: Go early morning or late evening for the calmest conditions.
The Mile High City serves up a ton of paddleboard oasis hot spots. Hit the cool waters at Cherry Creek Reservoir for classic Colorado big-mountain views and copious room to roam.
Navigate the friendly (read: no motorized watercraft allowed), easily accessed waters of Big Soda Lake Reservoir in Bear Creek Lake Park. A stone’s throw from Red Rocks Amphitheatre and westerly adventures, it’s the perfect pull-over for a quick day date or lunch break paddle complete with a sandy beach.
Launch from Eagle’s Cove at Chatfield Reservoir and spend the day exploring this big and busy boating and boarding wonderland. Chill out on the popular swim beach afterward for a picnic and some stellar people-watching.