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paddle boarding denver colorado - 5 intresting locations

The 5 Best SUP Spots In Colorado | For Summer And Winter

While many would argue that coastal areas and expansive lake systems are where water-based sports are most popular.

It sure ain’t the only place you can enjoy paddleboarding. Absolutely not. There are plenty of amazing locations where one can paddleboard in the states. 

One of those places is Colorado.

With big rivers and plenty of reservoirs, Colorado is the home of many ideal SUPing locations

Spring and summers are some of the best times to explore the state. The water is pleasant, and the weather is warm. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy it in winter. You’ll just need to have the right gear.

With that in mind, We’ve made a top 5 list. Some are easy to get to, and some are more secluded. 

Table of Contents

#1 Grand Lake

First up, we have the Grand Lake.
Grand Lake is one of the biggest and deepest natural lakes in Colorado. The lake is one of the most sought places for paddleboarding.
The water is pretty calm around the edges, but you’ll be more exposed to the elements as you get closer to the middle.
If you’re still learning, staying closer to the shore is probably a good idea.
The town shares the same name as the lake and offers a variety of amnesties. There are shopping malls, restaurants, souvenir stalls, and even rental shops.
Grand Lake, Colorado, is very much aware of its tourist attractions and accommodates paddleboarders from all around the state.
With golden sand beaches, it’s an excellent spot for a sun tanning session or a picnic.

#2 Dillion Reservoir

Dillion reservoir offers one of the finest SUP experiences in Colorado. This reservoir is located in Summit County with 27 miles of widespread shoreline. Dillion reservoir is well-known among local paddlers.

SUP rental shops are available nearby if you are unable to transport your own paddleboard 

The reservoir is surrounded by national parks where you can roam about and enjoy plenty of land-based outdoor activities. So if you have a few days to stay, it’s worth checking them out. The reservoir also hosts a few water sports competitions and prestigious tournaments. Make sure to visit during springs as those are the times most of the regattas occur. Or if you’re hoping for fewer crowds, then avoid those times.

Frisco Bay Mariana is another well-known paddle boarding site, and with restrooms and food nearby, it’s a good site for short day trips.

#3 Vallecito Reservoir

Vallecito Lake is a perfect spot for picnics and outings. 

You can get there by flying into Durango-La Plata County Airport, just over an hour’s flight time from Denver. 

The lakes yacht club is only 40 minutes drive from the airport. 

If you like the scenic route, the drive time from Denver is just under 7 hours.

The lake and the area around it pose for a perfect campsite experience. 

Hidden behind tall mountains, Vallecito Reservoir is yet another perfect lake that embodies the beauty of Colorado. 

Sports and other water based activities are common place in this lake.

Other than paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, and sailing are also popular here. The water is very still and calm. Which is ideal for introducing kids to water-based activities. The slow-flowing waters and scenic environment provide an excellent backdrop for a relaxing SUP session. 

There are several cabins and lodges for families to rent out for overnight stays for those who want to stay close by.

Other than paddleboarding, the areas around the lake offer excellent opportunities for hiking, skiing, and tours of tree carvings.  

#4 Soda Lakes

Soda Lakes reservoir is only 30 minutes drive from Denver city center. It’s perfect for people who wish to stay closer to the city while paddleboarding. Like the rest of the Denver area it offers great views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. The water in the lake is very calm and still, perfect for a light paddleboarding experience or to try out your new SUP before you take it on a more wild adventure.

Since the lake is pretty well-known for paddleboarding, there are a lot of SUP rental shops just by the lake

Bear Creek Lake Park is right next door. This park offers biking, boating, archery, horseback riding, fishing, and other interesting activities. 

The park also offers a perfect spot for children to run around and enjoy the outdoors.  

There are dining restaurants and cabins nearby for overnight stays.

#5 Boulder Reservoir

Boulder Reservoir is situated in the city of Boulder. With 4 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty of space for everyone. Weekends and holidays are the most crowded of times here. 

The water is still and inviting. And the rental shops nearby offer a variety of boards to suit different people. 

Boulder reservoir does have a per vehicle charge, which is a mere $10. Costs do vary from time to time. Do call ahead to confirm. 

Most reservoirs do not require permits, but this one does. If you are using your board outside the swimming area, you’ll need to obtain a “Small Craft Permit” from the City Of Boulder Parks Department. 

This famous reservoir offers quite a few other wholesome activities, including biking, swimming, sunbathing, water skiing, and wilderness exploring.

Summing It Up

There are many great paddleboarding locations within Colorado that we have not mentioned, but our top 5 SUP locations should give you a taste of what Colorado has to offer. From beginner to experienced and for those who love cold weather paddleboardingColorado has something for everyone. The level of adventure you seek is entirely up to you, so until next time… Happy Paddling!

Steve Frankland

Steve Frankland

Steve Frankland loves the outdoor life and getting out in nature. He loves writing and sharing knowledge. He's part of the team at
He’ll find any excuse he can to get out on the water and can often be seen on a SUP with his kids and dogs.