Steamboat Springs Paddleboarding Guide

Published on 05/14/2019 by Brad Luth

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has risen in popularity over the past decade as adventurers seek new and unique ways to experience nature. SUP, in particular, is growing because it’s easy to learn, ideal of adventurers of any experience level, and you don’t need a high surf to have a good time.


Steamboat Springs is plush with mountain rivers and lakes that are ideal for paddleboarding. Not only is SUP a great way to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, but it’s also a great activity for couples and groups to spend time enjoying the mountains together.


There are two main options for visitors interested in paddleboarding: equipment rentals or guided paddleboard tours.


Enjoy this free guide to paddleboarding in Steamboat Springs, and check out our guide to other top summer activities.


Paddleboarding Rental & Tour Companies

Are you looking for the top paddleboard rental and tour companies is Steamboat Springs? We’ve got you covered. Check out a few of these top-rated local rental companies.

Paddleboard Adventure Company

675 S Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 |  (970) 846-5926


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From adrenaline pumping whitewater paddle trips to relaxing paddleboarding tours, Paddleboard Adventure Company offers something for everyone. Rentals start at just $35 for a half day and $45 for a full day, with longer term rentals also available. The adventure company also offers delivery and SUP lessons for a small fee. SUP events, like guided tours and paddleboard yoga, are seasonal but a great way to try something new and adventurous during your mountain getaway.


Mountain Sports Kayak School

800 S Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 | (970) 879-8794


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With over 30 years of experience serving northwest Colorado, Mountain Sports Kayak School is the go-to purveyor of quality paddleboarding experiences. The school offers group and private paddleboard lessons each week, which cover the basics of paddleboarding safety and navigation. Additionally, the school hosts guided tours on the Yampa River, River Creek Park, and Fetcher Pond daily. All equipment and transportation are included in the tours.


Top Spots For Paddleboarding Near Steamboat Springs

Most rental companies will have preferred spots for guided tours and can provide recommendations on the top local spots to hit the water. Here are a few of our favorite spots to paddleboard within a one-hour drive of Steamboat Springs.


  • Yampa River (0.5 Miles, 2 Minutes)


  • Rich Weiss Park (0.5 Miles, 2 Minutes)


  • River Creek Park (1.5 Miles, 5 Minutes)


  • Fetcher Pond (1.5 Miles, 5 Minutes)


  • Stagecoach Reservoir (22 Miles, 40 Minutes)


  • Lake Steamboat (26 Miles, 40 Minutes)


  • Pearl Lake (26 Miles, 45 Minutes)


Still unsure if stand-up paddleboarding is for you, or do you have a question before you book? Check out these FAQs.

What is paddleboarding?

Combine surfing with kayaking and you’ve got paddleboarding! The board itself resembles a large surfboard, but instead of riding waves the rider glides through the water by using a paddle.

Is paddleboarding hard?

Though many find paddleboarding easier than surfing, this water activity is considered a full-body workout! Paddleboarding combines cardio, core strength training, balance and flexibility into one engaging activity. Of course, you can take always breaks and enjoy a more leisurely paddleboarding adventure, so don’t let the athleticism involved scare you away!

How long does paddleboarding take to learn?

Of course, this will vary per person, but it’s not uncommon for first-time riders to be comfortable with stand-up paddleboarding within 15-20 minutes. If you’re unsure, consider booking a paddleboarding lesson before you rent boards or book a full tour.

What should I wear?

The important thing is to be comfortable. Swim attire is perfectly acceptable for paddleboarding, though you’ll want to check the water temperature in advance to make a judgement call. The good news is that lake temperatures often rise into the 70’s and 80’s during the summer, which is quite comfortable for swimming. Consider packing wetsuit bottoms and tops if you think the water might be too chilly. A life jacket is also recommended.

How much does it cost to paddleboard?

Pricing will vary per vendor, but you can typically rent a paddleboard for around $30 for a half day or $50 for a full day. Tours and lessons are also quite affordable and are priced per person. You can call any of the local rental companies in advance for a complete quote.



Looking for more vacation inspiration? If so, check out our free Insider’s Guide, which provides a local’s perspective on Steamboat’s best kept secrets!