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5 of the Best Paddle Boarding Locations in Utah

Utah, a state renowned for its diverse landscapes, offers more than just spectacular hiking and skiing. It’s a haven for paddle board enthusiasts too, with its stunning array of reservoirs, lakes, and rivers. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a curious beginner, Utah’s water bodies provide the perfect backdrop for your paddle boarding adventures. Let’s dive into the top 5 paddle boarding locations in this picturesque state!

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Deer Creek Reservoir

Deer Creek Reservoir offers a breathtaking vista framed by the backdrop of Mount Timpanogos. Here, the water is as clear as crystal, making it a prime spot for both relaxation and various water sports. Paddling here feels like gliding over a giant, glassy mirror, reflecting the sky and surrounding peaks.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is a marvel of turquoise waters, stretching over 186 miles and dotted with numerous canyons. Paddle boarding here is akin to navigating a watery maze within a stunning rock fortress. It’s an expansive playground for adventurers seeking to explore its hidden coves and isolated sandy beaches.

Bear Lake

Known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies,” Bear Lake dazzles with its intense turquoise blue water caused by its unique mineral composition. This lake offers a surreal paddle boarding experience, especially during the early morning when the water is impeccably calm and the world seems to hold its breath.

Jordanelle Reservoir

Jordanelle Reservoir is not just about water sports; it’s a full recreation haven. The reservoir’s large open water area makes it perfect for paddle boarding, where you can enjoy ample space to maneuver and explore without feeling crowded.

Colorado River

While primarily known for rafting, the Colorado River also offers serene stretches perfect for paddle boarding. Imagine paddling with red rock cliffs towering over you, creating a stunning contrast against the azure sky—a truly majestic setting.

What to Bring

For an enjoyable paddle boarding outing in Utah, ensure you pack the essentials: a good quality paddle board, a paddle, life vest, sun protection, and plenty of water. Don’t forget your camera to capture the scenic vistas!

Safety Tips

Always wear a life jacket, check the weather conditions before heading out, and be aware of your surroundings. It’s also advisable to paddle in designated areas and keep a safe distance from motorized boats.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to paddle board in Utah is from late spring to early fall, when the weather is warm and the water temperatures are comfortable.


Utah’s diverse and picturesque paddle boarding locations offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for tranquil waters or adventurous rides, these top spots provide perfect settings for creating memorable experiences on the water.


1. Do I need a permit to paddle board in Utah’s lakes?
Yes, a permit is generally required for watercraft, including paddle boards, on Utah’s waters.

2. Are there guided paddle boarding tours available in Utah?
Yes, several companies offer guided tours, especially in popular areas like Lake Powell.

3. Can beginners paddle board at these locations?
Absolutely! Places like Jordanelle Reservoir are perfect for beginners due to their calm waters.

4. What is the average cost of renting a paddle board in Utah?
The cost varies, but generally, it’s about $20-$40 per hour.

5. Are there specific areas that are off-limits for paddle boarding in Utah?
Yes, some areas may be restricted for environmental protection or safety reasons. Always check local regulations before setting out.

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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.