Best Paddle Boarding in Arizona

Action shot of young woman on a paddle board at Barlett Lake in Arizona
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Exploring the diverse landscapes of Arizona while gliding atop serene waters is an adventure seeker’s dream come true. In the heart of the Southwest, Arizona boasts a myriad of picturesque lakes that beckon paddle boarders to partake in the thrill of balancing on their boards amidst awe-inspiring natural beauty. From the iconic expanses of Lake Powell to the tranquil coves of Saguaro Lake, each waterway in this arid state offers a distinct and captivating experience for paddle board enthusiasts. Join us as we delve into the best paddle boarding destinations in Arizona, uncovering the hidden gems and must-visit spots that promise unforgettable moments on the water.



Lake Powell

Lake Powell, a breathtaking reservoir in northern Arizona, beckons with its majestic beauty. This iconic body of water, formed by the Glen Canyon Dam, stretches across the arid landscape, offering a serene haven amidst nature’s splendor. With its striking red rock formations and crystal-clear waters, Lake Powell promises an unforgettable paddle boarding adventure in the heart of the Southwest.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Lake Powell:

  • Scenic Grandeur: Lake Powell boasts awe-inspiring views of towering red rock canyons, arches, and crystal-clear waters, providing a breathtaking backdrop for paddle boarding.
  • Exploration Opportunities: With over 1,900 miles of shoreline and numerous secluded coves, Lake Powell offers endless opportunities to explore hidden gems and discover new, tranquil spots.
  • Water Recreation: Beyond paddle boarding, Lake Powell is perfect for swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the refreshing waters.
  • Wildlife Encounters: The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including desert bighorn sheep and waterfowl, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers.
  • Starry Nights: Experience the magic of starry nights at Lake Powell. Its remote location away from city lights provides a perfect setting for stargazing after a day of paddle boarding.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Paddle, Personal Flotation Device, Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses, Dry Bag


Saguaro Lake

Saguaro Lake, a picturesque gem in the heart of the Tonto National Forest, beckons with its natural allure. This tranquil reservoir, set amidst a desert landscape, invites adventure-seekers to experience its serene waters and striking surroundings. With towering saguaro cacti as sentinels, Saguaro Lake offers a serene escape for those seeking solace amid Arizona’s desert beauty.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Saguaro Lake:

  • Desert Serenity: Paddle boarding at Saguaro Lake provides a serene escape into the heart of the Arizona desert, offering a unique and peaceful experience.
  • Iconic Saguaro Cacti: The lake is surrounded by towering saguaro cacti, providing an iconic and picturesque backdrop for your paddle boarding adventure.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Saguaro Lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds and desert creatures, making it a great spot for wildlife enthusiasts.
  • Stunning Desert Scenery: Explore the lake’s tranquil coves and take in the breathtaking desert scenery, with rugged cliffs and rock formations creating a dramatic landscape.
  • Outdoor Adventure: Whether you’re a novice or experienced paddler, Saguaro Lake offers the perfect setting for paddle boarding, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature and outdoor activity.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Paddle, Life Jacket, Sun Protection, Waterproof Phone Case, Dry Bag, Leash


Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake, an exquisite reservoir within the Tonto National Forest, beckons with its rugged charm. Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and set amidst the Arizona wilderness, this body of water offers an enticing escape. With its crystal-clear waters and secluded ambiance, Canyon Lake provides an ideal backdrop for an outdoor adventure amidst nature’s grandeur.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Canyon Lake:

  • Scenic Grandeur: Paddle boarding at Canyon Lake means immersing yourself in a stunning natural setting, with towering cliffs and rugged rock formations creating a breathtaking backdrop.
  • Secluded Retreat: Enjoy a more secluded and tranquil paddle boarding experience in the midst of the Tonto National Forest, away from the hustle and bustle.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Canyon Lake is home to a variety of desert wildlife, offering opportunities to spot birds, reptiles, and other creatures while paddle boarding.
  • Serenity and Solitude: The lake’s serene waters and quiet coves provide a peaceful escape for those seeking solace and a connection with nature.
  • Exploration Adventures: Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, Canyon Lake offers a range of paddling opportunities, from leisurely cove exploration to more adventurous routes, making it a versatile destination for paddle board enthusiasts.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Life Jacket, Paddle, Waterproof Phone Case, Sunscreen, Snorkel Gear, Sun Hat


Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu, a vibrant oasis in the heart of the Southwest, entices with its lively atmosphere and shimmering waters. Surrounded by desert landscapes, this reservoir offers a thrilling backdrop for adventure seekers. With its iconic London Bridge and numerous islands to explore, Lake Havasu provides an invigorating setting for a paddle boarding escapade amidst Arizona’s splendor.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Lake Havasu:

  • Vibrant Atmosphere: Paddle boarding at Lake Havasu means experiencing a lively and energetic environment with a mix of water sports, events, and a vibrant community.
  • Iconic London Bridge: Explore the famous London Bridge and its charming surroundings while paddle boarding, offering a unique and picturesque view.
  • Cove Exploration: Discover calm coves and hidden inlets perfect for paddle boarding, providing a peaceful escape from the lake’s more lively areas.
  • Waterfront Dining and Entertainment: Lake Havasu boasts numerous waterfront restaurants and entertainment options, making it easy to combine paddle boarding with a delightful dining experience.
  • Endless Adventures: With a range of water activities available, from paddle boarding to jet skiing and boating, Lake Havasu offers endless adventure opportunities for water enthusiasts.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Sunscreen, Paddle, Dry Bag, Sunglasses, Waterproof Watch, SUP Shoes


Bartlett Lake

Bartlett Lake, an oasis in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, invites with its tranquil allure. Set amidst the arid landscape, this reservoir offers a serene escape for nature enthusiasts. With its pristine waters and secluded coves, Bartlett Lake provides the perfect canvas for an outdoor adventure, where the desert meets the water’s edge in perfect harmony.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Bartlett Lake:

  • Desert Oasis: Paddle boarding at Bartlett Lake offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a refreshing oasis in the midst of the Sonoran Desert’s arid beauty.
  • Secluded Coves: Explore the lake’s peaceful and secluded coves, providing an escape from the crowds and a serene paddle boarding experience.
  • Scenic Desert Landscape: Bartlett Lake is surrounded by stunning desert landscapes and rugged terrain, offering a picturesque backdrop for your paddle boarding adventure.
  • Water Activities: Beyond paddle boarding, you can enjoy swimming, fishing, and picnicking, making it a versatile destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Relaxing Retreat: Whether you seek tranquility or a bit of adventure, Bartlett Lake promises a serene retreat where you can paddle in solitude or with friends amidst nature’s splendor.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Life Jacket, Paddle, Leash, Waterproof Phone Case, Sun Hat, Sun Protection


Watson Lake

Watson Lake, a serene gem near Prescott, invites with its unique beauty. Surrounded by granite rock formations, this reservoir offers a surreal paddle boarding experience. Paddle amidst the granite dells, where massive boulders rise dramatically from the water, creating an otherworldly ambiance. Watson Lake promises an enchanting escape into nature’s stunning artistry.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Watson Lake:

  • Granite Wonderland: Paddle boarding at Watson Lake allows you to immerse yourself in a surreal landscape of granite dells, where massive boulders create a unique and captivating scenery.
  • Tranquil Waters: Enjoy the serenity of calm waters, as Watson Lake’s secluded coves and inlets provide a peaceful environment for paddle boarding.
  • Wildlife Observation: Explore the lake’s diverse ecosystem, which includes waterfowl and bird species, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
  • Photogenic Beauty: Watson Lake’s dramatic rock formations and crystal-clear waters offer a stunning backdrop for paddle boarding and are perfect for capturing memorable photos.
  • Outdoor Adventure: Whether you’re seeking a leisurely paddle or a more adventurous experience, Watson Lake accommodates various skill levels, making it an ideal destination for paddle board enthusiasts.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Life Jacket, Paddle, Waterproof Phone Case, Sunscreen, Hat, Dry Bag


Patagonia Lake

Patagonia Lake, a tranquil oasis in southern Arizona, beckons with its lush charm. Surrounded by greenery, this reservoir offers a serene retreat for nature lovers. With its crystal-clear waters and the promise of birdwatching, Patagonia Lake presents an idyllic setting for a paddle boarding excursion amidst the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert region.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Patagonia Lake:

  • Lush Oasis: Paddle boarding at Patagonia Lake provides a refreshing contrast to the arid desert surroundings, offering a lush and green oasis in southern Arizona.
  • Birdwatcher’s Paradise: The lake is renowned for its birdwatching opportunities, making it a must-visit destination for bird enthusiasts.
  • Tranquil Waters: Enjoy the tranquility of calm waters, as Patagonia Lake’s serene environment is perfect for a relaxing paddle boarding experience.
  • Scenic Surroundings: Surrounded by rolling hills and forests, the lake’s picturesque landscape adds to the appeal of paddle boarding amidst natural beauty.
  • Fishing and Wildlife: In addition to paddle boarding, you can try your hand at fishing and spot a variety of wildlife, creating a well-rounded outdoor adventure for all interests.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Paddle, Rash Guard, Dry Bag, Sun Hat, Sunscreen, GoPro


Tempe Town Lake

Tempe Town Lake, a vibrant urban waterway, beckons with its lively atmosphere and sparkling waters. Surrounded by the city’s energy, this reservoir offers a dynamic backdrop for water enthusiasts. With its modern bridges, waterfront parks, and a bustling cultural scene, Tempe Town Lake provides an invigorating setting for a paddle boarding adventure within the heart of Tempe.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Tempe Town Lake:

  • Urban Adventure: Paddle boarding at Tempe Town Lake offers a unique urban adventure, allowing you to explore the heart of Tempe from a different perspective.
  • Cityscape Views: Enjoy stunning views of modern bridges, skyscrapers, and waterfront parks as you paddle along the lake, offering a dynamic and picturesque backdrop.
  • Cultural Hub: The lake is surrounded by cultural attractions, including the Tempe Center for the Arts, providing opportunities to combine paddle boarding with artistic experiences.
  • Waterfront Dining: Explore a variety of waterfront dining options, making it easy to enjoy a meal or refreshments after your paddle boarding session.
  • Year-Round Enjoyment: Tempe’s mild climate ensures year-round paddle boarding opportunities, making it a versatile destination for outdoor enthusiasts regardless of the season.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Life Jacket, Paddle, Leash, Dry Bag, Sun Protection, Snacks/Water


Lower Salt River

The Lower Salt River, an untamed gem in the Sonoran Desert, beckons with its wild beauty. Meandering through the arid landscape, this river offers an unspoiled escape for outdoor adventurers. With its gentle flow and the promise of spotting wild horses that roam the area, the Lower Salt River sets the stage for an authentic desert paddle boarding experience.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Lower Salt River:

  • Wildlife Encounters: Paddle boarding at the Lower Salt River offers the chance to observe and interact with a variety of wildlife, including wild horses, birds, and desert creatures.
  • Tranquil Nature: The river provides a serene and peaceful environment amidst the desert, making it perfect for a calm and relaxing paddle boarding experience.
  • Scenic Desert Beauty: Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape, including picturesque saguaro cacti and rugged terrain, creating a unique and beautiful backdrop.
  • Floating Adventure: With its gentle flow, the Lower Salt River is ideal for leisurely paddling, allowing you to float along and take in the natural beauty at your own pace.
  • Escape to Nature: It’s a perfect destination for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with the tranquility of the natural world.

Recommended Gear: Life Jacket, Paddle Board, Leash, Dry Bag, GoPro, Sunglasses, Paddle


Lynx Lake

Lynx Lake, a serene retreat within the Prescott National Forest, beckons with its tranquil ambiance. Surrounded by forested beauty, this reservoir offers a peaceful escape for outdoor enthusiasts. With its calm waters and the promise of spotting various wildlife, Lynx Lake sets the stage for a nature-inspired paddle boarding experience amidst Arizona’s lush greenery.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Lynx Lake:

  • Forest Oasis: Paddle boarding at Lynx Lake offers a serene escape into the heart of the Prescott National Forest, providing a lush and green oasis.
  • Wildlife Watching: The lake is home to various wildlife, making it an excellent destination for birdwatching and observing forest creatures.
  • Tranquil Waters: Enjoy the tranquility of calm waters, as Lynx Lake’s serene environment creates a peaceful atmosphere for paddle boarding.
  • Forest Scenery: Surrounded by towering pine trees and forested landscapes, the lake offers picturesque views and a serene backdrop for your paddle boarding adventure.
  • Outdoor Adventure: Lynx Lake provides opportunities for both relaxation and adventure, making it an ideal destination for paddle boarders of all levels seeking a connection with nature.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Life Jacket, Paddle, Dog Life Jacket, Waterproof Phone Case, Sunscreen, Hat


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