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10 Best Places to Stand-Up Paddle Board in Oregon

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Stand-up paddle boarding, or SUP, is a fantastic way to explore Oregon’s natural beauty. With its diverse waterways, Oregon offers endless opportunities for SUP enthusiasts of all skill levels. From serene lakes to wild, rushing rivers, here are the ten best places to stand-up paddle board in Oregon.

1. Lake Billy Chinook

Located in Central Oregon, Lake Billy Chinook is a popular spot for stand-up paddle boarding. The lake boasts crystal-clear waters, surrounded by towering cliffs that provide stunning views. Paddlers can explore the lake’s numerous coves and bays or take a more challenging route and venture upstream into the Deschutes River.

2. Deschutes River

The Deschutes River is a popular destination for stand-up paddle boarding. The river’s calm stretches provide an ideal environment for beginners, while the rapids present an exciting challenge for experienced paddlers. Paddling the Deschutes River offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and canyons. NB: Inflatable paddle boards are ideal for river paddling. They’re durable and portable.

3. Willamette River

The Willamette River runs through the heart of Oregon and offers a picturesque paddle boarding experience. Paddlers can take in the beautiful views of the city’s skyline and bridges while exploring the river’s calm waters. The Willamette River also offers numerous access points for paddlers of all skill levels.

4. Elk Lake

Elk Lake is a high-elevation lake located in the Cascade Mountains. The lake’s crystal-clear waters and surrounding forests make it an ideal spot for stand-up paddle boarding. Paddlers can explore the lake’s many coves and inlets or take in the spectacular scenery of the Three Sisters Mountains.

5. Suttle Lake

Suttle Lake is a peaceful, serene lake located in the Deschutes National Forest. The lake’s calm waters provide a perfect paddle boarding experience for beginners, while more experienced paddlers can explore the lake’s many bays and inlets. The surrounding forests offer a tranquil atmosphere and gorgeous views.

6. Crater Lake

Crater Lake is one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in Oregon. The lake’s crystal-clear waters and surrounding cliffs make it a popular spot for stand-up paddle boarding. Paddlers can take in the attractive scenery of the lake’s blue waters and the surrounding mountains while exploring the lake’s many coves.

7. Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park’s Crooked River provides an excellent paddle boarding experience with views of the towering cliffs and rock formations. Paddlers can also explore the river’s many bays and inlets.

8. Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake is a picturesque lake located in the Mount Hood National Forest. The lake’s calm waters provide an ideal paddle boarding experience for beginners, while the surrounding mountains offer an attractive landscape. Paddlers can also explore the lake’s many coves and inlets.

9. Nehalem Bay

Located on the Oregon coast, Nehalem Bay offers a unique paddle boarding experience. The bay’s calm waters provide a perfect environment for beginners, while the bay’s many inlets and channels provide more experienced paddlers with a challenge. Paddlers can take in the natural wonder of the bay’s rugged coastline and explore the nearby Nehalem Bay State Park.

10. Hood River

Nestled in the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River offers paddleboarding with the exciting backdrop of Mount Hood. Surrounded by steep cliffs and lush forests, the Columbia River Gorge is famous for its reliable winds, making it a hotspot for windsurfing and other water sports. While these winds are perfect for advanced windsurfers and kiteboarders, they may create challenging conditions for beginners. However, there are calmer areas along the river where paddleboarders of all skill levels can enjoy their time on the water.

Remember to always check local regulations, weather conditions, and safety guidelines before heading out to any paddleboarding location. It’s also a good idea to consult local paddleboarding clubs, local equipment rental shops and other outdoor enthusiasts for the latest information. Be safe on the water and have fun stand-up paddleboarding in Oregon.

SUP FAQ’s and Important Tips:

• What should I wear when paddle boarding in Oregon?

It’s important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. In the summer months, light clothing and a hat are recommended, while in the colder months, a wetsuit may be necessary.

• Can I rent paddle boarding equipment in Oregon?

Yes, there are many rental shops and outfitters throughout the state that offer paddle boarding equipment.

• Is stand-up paddle boarding safe for beginners?

Yes, stand-up paddle boarding is a relatively safe activity for beginners. It’s important to start in calm waters and wear a personal flotation device.

• Are there any age restrictions for paddle boarding in Oregon?

There are no age restrictions for stand-up paddle boarding in Oregon, but children under the age of 13 must wear a personal flotation device.

• Can I paddle board in Oregon during the winter months?

Yes, paddle boarding is possible year-round in Oregon, but it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions and to be aware of potential hazards such as cold water and strong winds.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.