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December 14, 2021 4 min read

Paddle Boarding Lake Havasu, Arizona

Paddle board, kayak and boating on lake havasu

Lake Havasu, on the border of California and Arizona, is a large reservoir located on the Colorado River and is an incredible place to SUP (stand up paddle board). 

Although Arizona is largely made up of desert, Lake Havasu offers beautiful white sandy beaches that give you all the feel of the ocean, but without the annoyance of waves and dangerous aquatic species. 

The reservoir has 619,400 acres of crystal flat blue water that is perfect for paddlers of all abilities and makes an ideal training ground for newbies and children. 

Its 400 mile coastline, however, isn’t just made up of sand. Large rock formations, some of which glow red in the afternoon sun, grass lined islands, and vast gorges, can also be explored from the comfort of a paddle board. 

Campsites can be found around the lake, meaning you can turn your SUP trip into a weekend stay. The sites can be used for day use, and for an additional fee you can stay the night. Campsites do book up fast, so it’s best to book in advance. 

If camping isn’t your thing, Lake Havasu City, located right next to the lake, has numerous hotels, restaurants, and attractions to enjoy after a long day of paddling. 

If you’re heading to Lake Havasu, we’ve broken down the best places to stand up paddle board, all of which have incredible views and ideal paddling conditions. 

Where to Paddle Board on Lake Havasu

Red Rock

Red rock island in lake havasu

As mentioned before, there are rocks at the south end of Lake Havasu that glow red at sunset.

Red Rock, given its name because of its beautiful color, stands 100 feet above the lake and even turns the water beneath the cliff a deep amber color in the late afternoons. 

Anglers that prefer fishing in the later hours of the day flock to Red Rock because it’s a great spot to fish for bass. 

If you’re a SUP angler, be sure to pack your rod and head over to Red Rock not only to enjoy an afternoon of fishing, but to take in the sheer beauty that the sunset and rock combination has to offer. 

Pirate’s Cove

Slightly north and away from the main section of Lake Havasu is Pirate’s Cove. If you’re bringing kids on your paddle board adventure, the cove is definitely top of the list for places to visit! 

An ancient pirate ship lays in the middle of the cove that’s only accessible by boat or paddle board. Like the rest of the lake, the water in Pirate’s cove is flat, clear, and a great place to practice paddle boarding if you’re a beginner. 

Surrounding the cove is a pirate themed resort, which can be accessed by the water from the cove. You can spend time relaxing on sun loungers, eating in their pirate themed restaurant, or unwinding for the weekend in their water facing cabins. 

London Bridge

London bridge in lake havasu arizona

Did you know that the original London Bridge was transported from London to Lake Havasu in 1968? 

Located in the canal of Lake Havasu, the London Bridge is the lake’s most historic landmark and a popular tourist attraction in Arizona.

It’s not every day you can paddle up close and explore a part of British History, right in the middle of a desert. 

The water underneath London Bridge gets less crowded than if you were to visit the bridge on foot, plus you’ll get to see it from a different perspective!

Grass Island

Only accessible by boat and a haven for SUP anglers is Grass Island in the southern portion of Lake Havasu. 

The lake's water level greatly affects the size of Grass Island, and if the water level is high, the island is almost completely hidden. However, during low waters, boaters need to take extra care when approaching the island because of its rocky shoreline. 

26 miniature lighthouses are found around Lake Havasu, one of which is in Grass Island. These lighthouses make a great game for children to spot and search for whilst out paddling on the water. 

The Topock Gorge

Topock Gorge the grand canyon of lake havasu

Saving the best till last! Topock Gorge is described as a mini Grand Canyon.

Topock Gorge is just over 4 miles long and is found at the northernmost tip of Lake Havasu. Because it’s slightly further out, it’s recommended to rent a boat and launch your paddle board once you have arrived at the gorge. 

The gorge is surrounded by colorful rocky walls, abundant wildlife, and long sandy beaches. 

While out paddling, you can catch glimpses of numerous bird species, sheep, fish, and even wild donkeys. 

The Colorado River flows into Topock Gorge, making the water cleaner than the main section of Lake Havasu and full of fish species and ample fishing opportunities. 

Where to Rent Paddle Boards

If you’re simply visiting Lake Havasu or you don’t have a paddle board of your own, there are a few board rental shops near the lake, making it easy for you and your friends to explore and enjoy a day paddling while taking in the beautiful scenery. 

You can also purchase paddle boards at the rental shops near Lake Havasu and take them out for a spin at the many locations the lake has to offer. 

Beach Shack Rentals

Nautical Water Sports

Southwest Outfitters

Interactive Map

FAQ’S

🏆 Can you paddle board on Lake Havasu?

Lake Havasu, Arizona, is an amazing place to paddle board for paddlers of all abilities and has become extremely popular over recent years. 

The lake has different sections, all with unique views, wildlife species, and fishing opportunities. You can truly spend days exploring Lake Havasu and still find new places to enjoy. 

Conveniently, you can rent paddle boards at the lake or bring your own SUP if you’d prefer.


👍 Do I need a Licence to paddle board on a lake?

Portable, unpowered watercraft including paddle boards require a license on the majority of inland waterways. Licenses can be obtained from relevant authorities and it’s best to research the specific area you’re going to beforehand. 

In the case of Lake Havasu, you don’t need a license, but you do need to pay a lake entrance fee.


🏝️ Can you kayak on Lake Havasu?

Kayakers can launch their boats into the lake at designated canoe and kayak sites. Boat ramps also make it easy to get your kayak in and out of the water.

Megan Bryant
Megan Bryant

Based in Bali, her favorite SUP spot is the GILI Islands themselves. Travel is another passion of hers - she dreams to see the entire world one day.


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