Ready to hit the water, but want to try something a little more adventurous than just swimming? Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to get in a good workout while still having a blast on Colorado’s famous waterways.
Better yet, you can make paddleboarding a day trip while staying in Grand Junction, Colorado. It's the perfect way to spend time with your family while making some unforgettable memories.
What is stand-up paddleboarding?
If you've never heard of stand-up paddleboarding, you're not alone. As people conquer more well-known sports, they like to branch out and raise the level of difficulty.
Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP for short, is sort of like that, except it's been around for a very long time. While SUP has gained popularity only recently, it's certainly not a modern sport.
According to Surfer Today, "Paddleboarding has its roots in Africa, South America, and the ancient Polynesian culture. Historians believe that wooden paddleboards were used by 16th-century natives to move from one place to another and catch waves for fun."
SUP is simple enough, in theory. You're essentially paddling as you would in a kayak, but you stand up. SUP can be done on flat oceans, lakes, rivers, canals, inland waterways, large swimming pools, and even waves. In fact, many surfers who are feeling their age but refuse to give up their boards turn to SUP as a means to keep riding waves.
More adventurous souls like to SUP in rapids, but it’s far more common to find people stand-up paddleboarding in calm lakes and rivers.
There are many great locations in Colorado and near Grand Junction where you can make a day trip of stand-up paddleboarding.
Here are the best places to go stand-up paddleboarding this summer.
1. Grand Junction Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Co.
If you're new to paddleboarding, guided adventures are a great place to start. The Grand Junction Stand Up Paddle Boarding Company offers paddleboard rentals and lessons for beginners.
There are also plenty of other outdoor activities to experience here, such as kayaking, rafting, tubing, hiking, mountain biking, and even climbing. But, let’s not forget about SUP. They're so serious about their SUP that they offer yoga on paddleboards.
And, if you're feeling extra adventurous, there are even moonlight paddles. What could be better than paddleboarding at night?
2. Highline Lake State Park
If you're already plenty familiar with SUP or have enough experience that a guided tour isn't for you, you might want to just drive to a location and get on the water. This is all the more true if you own your own equipment and don't need to rent it.
If that's the case, then Highline Lake State Park’s two lakes are great places to visit. It's about 30 minutes outside of Grand Junction, so the drive isn't far. You can head out in the morning and be back in plenty of time to eat dinner at your favorite local restaurant.
3. Rimrock Adventures
Located about 13 miles outside of Grand Junction, Rimrock Adventures is a great place to go if you want to rent a stand-up paddleboard, canoe, or kayak to take on the Colorado River. If you’re looking to try other activities, they also offer horseback riding.
For more advanced stand-up paddleboarders, Rimrock Adventures offers a 3-day guided SUP adventure down the Colorado River, complete with camping and hiking. They also have self-guided tour options if you prefer to wing it.
4. Palisade River Trips
Palisade River Trips can set you up for the grandest of adventures with paddleboard rentals and incredible waterways. This section of the Colorado River offers a four-mile run in Palisade and an eight-mile run that ends up in Grand Junction.
For those looking to spread out, Palisade River Trips will gladly offer up suggestions regarding the 216 lakes across the Grand Mesa. Whatever sort of trip you're looking to take, answering a few quick questions will get you headed in the right direction.
5. Western Slope SUP
Looking for a guided tour that offers more than just tips on technique? Western Slope SUP guides will discuss the history of Colorado’s gorgeous Western Slope scenery that you travel through as you stand-up paddleboard.
Western Slope SUP recommends beginners start at the mild Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area — perfect for first-timers. However, there are plenty of rivers and lakes to explore, so feel free to branch out and see more of the scenic land surrounding Grand Junction once you get the hang of it.
Ready to stand-up paddleboard in Colorado?
If you're intrigued by the idea of SUP and are interested in giving it a try, Grand Junction and the surrounding area is the perfect place to do so. Whether you want to try out the Colorado River or like the idea of a more leisurely pace on a lake, there are plenty of choices.
You can also do much more in Grand Junction, such as eating out at some of the top restaurants in Colorado, hiking with your dog, camping, fishing, and sightseeing.
View the Official Grand Junction Visitors Guide today to get started planning your trip to Grand Junction, Colorado.