Paddle boarding in Colorado Springs: What To Bring & Where To Go
Water season has arrived and we’re getting ready with this guide to paddle boarding in Colorado Springs. Find out what to bring, where to go, and how to find the right gear for a summer of fun– it’s all covered right here!
Paddle boarding is quickly becoming a favorite pastime in Colorado. And Colorado Springs is home to incredible lakes, rivers, and ponds, which makes it a paddle boarders paradise. From chill spots for paddle board yoga to some exciting rapids,paddle boarding in Colorado Springs doesn’t disappoint. Here’s what you need to know to enjoy some time on the water in and near this fantastic city!
The best places to go paddle boarding in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is already a sought after destination for rock climbing, biking, and hiking. However, the growing water sports scene often doesn’t get as much attention. But in the dry, hot Colorado summer, nothing is quite as refreshing as a day spent on a paddle board. To get your summer adventures off to a great start, check out these top places to go paddle boarding in Colorado Springs.
58-acre Prospect Lake is the go-to destination for all things water sports in “the Springs.” Take in beautiful views of Pikes Peak as you paddle around in the Colorado Springs sunshine. Permits are $5 per day or $50 for the year, making it a very affordable option. If you’re in need of gear, a local nonprofit organization, UpaDowna, offers rentals for life jackets, permits, and boards all summer long. All you have to do is wear comfortable clothes, water-friendly shoes, and sunscreen! Unfortunately, non-motorized sports, like paddle boarding, don’t get as much time on the water in this prime location. There is a rule at the lake that only allows non-motorized water activities on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Plan ahead and make sure you’re headed to this top spot forColorado Springs paddle boarding on the right day!
Big Soda Lake
Big Soda Lake is about an hour from Colorado Springs, located in Bear Creek Lake Park. The park hosts a variety of accommodations for relaxing summer days including volleyball courts, a 400 meter swimming lane, picnic tables, and beaches. If you are looking for a social stand-up paddle boarding scene, this is the place to be.
Entry into Bear Creek Lake Park is only $10 per vehicle, so try to pack all of your family and friends into one car! There are several companies who offer paddle board rentals along with all the gear necessary for a day on the water. However, the shops only operate between Memorial Day and Labor day, so if you’re coming before then, try and snag your own paddle board from anotherlocal shop. If you have your own paddle board or a friend who will lend you theirs, you are welcome to paddle board at Big Soda Lake at Bear Creek Lake Park all year long.
Rampart Reservoir is a 500-acre lake located just one hour from Colorado Springs. Part of the joy of the reservoir is the drive there. The drive runs along a mountain highway with fabulous views of the Rocky Mountains. Because it is a no-wake body of water for motorized boats, Rampart Reservoir has a special place in the hearts of Colorado Springs locals for paddle boarding. It also features breath-taking views and several semi-hidden coves along the shores. The reservoir is open from mid-May to October and there is a $7 day use fee. The road to get up to the lake is unpaved and can be a bit difficult to get up, especially when it is muddy. You shouldn’t need a 4WD vehicle, but if you’re planning on bringing a trailer or a boat in addition to your SUP, it might be better to go to a different location.
As Rampart Reservoir is more of a remote paddle boarding location in Colorado, there are no rental facilities set-up on the premises. So, check out local Colorado Springs rentals orbuy your own.
Paddle boarding in Colorado Springs: What To Bring
It can be rather daunting to start a new activity, but paddle boarding is worth it! You can get exercise, spend time with friends, and soak in the beautiful Colorado sunshine.
To help with the stress of planning your first paddleboarding adventure in Colorado Springs, here is a simple checklist of what to bring:
You can't paddle board without a paddle board! A paddle kit typically includes a pump (if you’re using an inflatable paddle board), an adjustable paddle, a fin, a leash to attach to your ankle, and the board itself.
Personal Flotation Device
Many places have rules that require a PDF, more commonly known as a life jacket, on any water vessel. Make sure that you get one that fits properly so that you can enjoy your time on the water safely and comfortably. In Colorado, it’s 99% likely that you’ll need a PFD at any popular paddle boarding area.
As you know, Colorado Springs is hot and dry in the summer, so hydration is key. Make sure to bring either an insulated water bottle or a lighter plastic bottle so you can enjoy the water all day long without worrying about dehydration.
Paddle boarding is exercise and food is fuel! Make sure to pack snacks in case you are out on the water longer than you expected. Or, bring lunch and enjoy it on the shore with your favorite picnic blanket.
You will be balancing on the board which means it's going to be hard to bring a bag with snacks and supplies out on the water. Fanny packs are the answer to this problem. Just tuck your bars and extra sunscreen away in your hip pouch, no extra hands needed!
If you’ve lived in Colorado for any length of time, you’ll know that layering is one of the most important parts of enjoying the outdoors. Going paddle boarding is no exception, as temperatures can shift rapidly on the water. Stay covered and protect your skin from sunburns with an extra layer.
Light reflects off of the water and can cause eye problems or wrinkles from squinting. Do some preventative care and bring your sunglasses.
You’re never fully dressed without your sunscreen. Protect your skin from harmful rays with sunscreen. And if you can, look for an all-natural sunscreen that won’t leave behind chemicals if you jump into the water!
Take sun protection to another level with a hat and a bandana. Nothing is more frustrating than enjoying a day outside and coming home looking like a lobster thanks to a bad sunburn. Make sure you bring a hat or bandana to protect you from Colorado’s high UV rays.
There is really no better way to enjoy the lakes, rivers, and reservoirs of Colorado Springs than on your paddle board. It is almost guaranteed that after your first time floating on the serene waters in Colorado Springs, you will be back again and again!
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