Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Aspen: A Perfect Way to Have Fun On the Water

Paddleboard on shore with rider holding paddle

Our spectacular valley has lush green mountains, blue lakes, and rushing rivers. With all that water around, it's no surprise that the number of people stand-up paddleboarding in Aspen has exploded.

If all those people enjoy it so much, maybe it's something you want to try. You can explore the valley on the water, get a great workout, and even use it to get closer to nature. If you're lucky, you might even see some bald eagles and great blue herons along the way.

What is Stand-up Paddleboarding (or "Stand Up Paddleboarding"), and Why is it So Fun?

In stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), you stand, kneel, or sit on a waterproof board and use a paddle to steer and propel yourself across the water. It's a fabulous way to get fit and have fun!

It's also a great way to spend time with your friends or family, regardless of your experience and respective skill levels.

Gentle streams and lakes are recommended for beginners. They offer easy access, flat water, and mellow, consistent paddling. If you're looking for something more challenging than calm water, river rapids are ideal for more advanced and experienced paddlers.

Aspen Paddleboarding Rentals: Gear and Tour Guides You Can Trust 

If you're new to paddleboarding, you may want to rent your gear and turn to the experts to get started.

Friendly guides will ensure you have everything you need and allow you to try different equipment. It's also a great way to try paddleboarding before deciding whether or not it's the sport for you.

You can rent SUP gear in Aspen from several local outfitters, so you're sure to find something that works for you. You can get everything from paddleboards to your life jacket from these SUP rental companies. Some offer guided tours, high-level instruction, and a wealth of information about the best SUP spots in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley:

The 6 Best Paddleboarding Locations Near Aspen

Young group of kids riding paddleboard going down Stillwater Stream in Aspen

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced paddler, there are several suitable rivers and other great places to stand-up paddleboarding in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, and nearby.

Here are our top choices for where to paddleboard in Aspen and beyond: 

  • Stillwater - North Star Nature Preserve - a lazy river setting just east of Aspen, near the Wildwood School

  • Lost Man Reservoir - up Independence Pass

  • Grizzly Reservoir - up Independence Pass

  • Twin Lakes - on the other side of Independence Pass

  • Ruedi Reservoir - up the FryingPan River Road

  • Harvey Gap - near Rifle

  • Colorado River and the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park - geared toward advanced paddlers near No Name


Paddleboarding FAQs

What is paddleboarding?

Paddleboarding is a sport that involves standing, kneeling, or sitting on a surfboard-like board and using paddles to propel yourself across the water. You can do it on lakes and rivers and even the ocean.

What are the different types of paddleboards?

In general, the different types of stand-up paddleboards are:

  • Inflatable stand-up paddleboards

  • Fiberglass stand-up paddleboards

  • All-around SUP (General Purpose)

  • Surf paddle boards (Performance)

  • Touring paddle boards

  • Short SUP boards

  • Medium SUP boards

  • Long SUP boards

Do you need a permit to paddleboard on the Colorado River?

No, a stand-up paddleboard is not motorized and must not be registered.

Can you paddle board on Ruedi Reservoir?

Yes, you can paddleboard on Ruedi Reservoir if you follow all the rules and regulations associated with the reservoir. You can find more information regarding paddleboarding on Ruedi Reservoir and all of the rules and related regulations at this link

Can you paddleboard on any lake in Colorado?

The short answer is that you can paddleboard on any lake in Colorado. The Colorado Department of Natural Resources classified certain lakes as recreation areas. But you can paddleboard in any body of water unless designated as a recreation area. To learn more about paddleboarding on lakes in Colorado, check out this link.

Can you paddleboard at Twin Lakes?

Twin Lakes, CO, is a great place to paddleboard near Aspen. The two lakes offer a great chance to paddleboard. You'll also have access to other great lakes nearby, so you can keep exploring as you get better. You can find more information about Twin Lakes and the types of SUP rentals available here: SUP Rentals.

Is paddleboarding more difficult than kayaking?

Paddleboards and kayaks are used in different ways. In general, stand-up paddleboarding is also easier than kayaking. It involves less effort for the average person with average athletic skills and a reasonable degree of fitness. Paddleboards are also more convenient to transport, store, and carry home.

Man on Stand Up Paddleboard going down Still Water In Aspen, Colorado

Want More Aspen Life?

Paddleboarding in Aspen (including SUP yoga!) is just one of our Rocky Mountain paradise's many fun summer water activities! Whitewater rafting is also on the Roaring Fork, Arkansas, and Upper Colorado Rivers. You'll discover bike riding, fly fishing, kayaking, and other water sports opportunities on these rivers and smaller local rivers and streams.

It's a lot to keep up with, but Aspen Life is your one-stop shop for all things Aspen. Got questions? Get in touch and let our experts help you!

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