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When thinking of a place to stand up paddle board, Nevada may not spring to mind.
You’re probably thinking of its many deserts, high temperatures, and endless casinos, but Northern Nevada is home to numerous waterways with incredible surroundings and SUPing opportunities.
Southern Nevada, which is home to the world-famous Las Vegas and gives off a completely different vibe to the north, also has waters suitable for stand up paddle boarding that are great for all abilities.
So, with that being said, let’s get into the best paddle boarding destinations in Nevada.
Lake Tahoe is said to be one of the best places to paddle board in North America. With its crystal clear blue waters and mountain range surroundings, it’s no wonder why.
Stretched over the California and Nevada border, Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the US and the largest alpine lake in the country. Its 191 square mile surface area means you’ll never get bored of paddling and exploring Lake Tahoe.
On the northeastern side of the lake is Incline Village, a fantastic starting point for your paddle boarding trip. Its big beaches and easy lake access are great launching points and are perfect for newbie paddlers practicing the sport of SUPing.
The water in Lake Tahoe is relatively cold all year round, so it’s recommended to dress appropriately before heading out on the water.
Campgrounds are dotted along the lake's shorelines, allowing you to turn your paddle board trip into a weekend adventure.
If you’re heading out to Lake Tahoe, we’ve covered 17 of the top places to paddle board in Lake Tahoe to give you a better idea of what the lake has to offer.
Although technically on Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove, found on the south side of the lake, needs a special mention.
The cove has a mile-long family friendly sandy beach where you can set up your board and begin paddling while observing the wildlife found on the shorelines. It’s slightly less known than other parts of the lake, but it still can get busy during peak times.
If you’re looking for an enhanced paddle board experience, motorboats are allowed in Zephyr Cove and allow professional paddlers to paddle out and enjoy the waves they create.
The water level varies in Zephyr Cove and, if low enough, rock islands are visible and can be accessed by paddle boards.
One of the more remote waterways on the list is the Cold Lakes. They’re a pair of glacial tarns in the Ruby Mountains and are slightly more challenging to reach than other options in Nevada.
Due to their remoteness, the Cold Lakes will give you a unique and unforgettable paddling experience that you most likely won’t have to share with other paddlers.
Its snow-covered mountain ranges are reflected in the calm, clear water, which makes for an incredible photo opportunity.
The name Cold Lakes gives away the water temperature, and you’ll need to pack a high-quality wetsuit if attempting to paddle here. It’s also recommended to take a lightweight paddle board or an inflatable paddle board as the hike to the lakes isn’t the easiest.
Picnic areas and campgrounds can be found a few miles away if you're looking for a weekend trip to the Cold Lakes.
One of the largest naturally formed lakes in Nevada is the Pyramid Lake. The lake, over time, has shrunk because of the nearby dam and water diversion. The lower water levels have exposed rock formations throughout the lake, one of which looks like a giant pyramid.
The water is blue and relatively flat, with shorelines that make taking your board in and out of the water a breeze.
Fishing in Pyramid Lake is extremely popular because of a rare fish species that can be found here, the Cui-ui. If you’re a SUP angler, you will need to get a tribal fishing license because the lake is located on tribal land. They can be purchased at the ranger station or online.
Camping is also a popular activity at the lake, with RVs and tents that line the shores come nightfall.
Washoe Lake is hidden in a valley in the Washoe Lake State Park and offers incredible wildlife and views of the Sierra Nevada, Carson, and Virginia Mountain Ranges.
Its calm waters are a fantastic place to relax on a paddle board and bird watch. Bald eagles can regularly be seen from the lake as well as other bird and waterfowl species.
If SUP fishing is your thing, anglers come to these waters to fish for various species, such as Bullhead catfish, White bass, and Sacramento Perch.
The state park also gives you access to 49 campsites that are available year-round with showers, drinking water, and grills. Picnic and day-use areas are dotted throughout the park, where you can take a break from paddling and relax on lawns or sandy beaches.
Walker Lake has extremely flat and still waters that are surrounded by desert and mountain ranges. Campgrounds are found along the lake's shore, with public toilets and picnic tables accessible to all.
If you’re new to SUPing, Walker Lake is a great location to practice because of its shallow shores and calm water.
The lake is on a migratory corridor, where many bird species can be spotted whilst they forage, nest, and make their way north to south.
Bald eagles, peregrine falcons, wild horses, and turtles are some of the animals you’ll find at Walker Lake. Fishing, however, is currently not permitted because of the declining water level that has left fish species in extremely low numbers.
Lake Lahontan was once a large glacial lake that has since evaporated and become a state reservoir. Its 69 miles of shorelines and peaceful waters make it perfect for swimming and various water sports.
The outdoor areas in the park around the lake are open year-round and provide you with everything you would need for an enjoyable weekend-long trip.
If you’re into wildlife watching, the area around Lahontan is home to wild horses, bobcats, foxes, and an abundance of birds.
Have you taken a trip to Las Vegas and need a break from the strip and city? If so, Lake Las Vegas has you covered!
The water here is still and a great learning spot for children or inexperienced paddlers. The lake gives off a completely different feel to the northern Nevada waterways because of its hotels, casinos, and shopping malls that line the lake's edge.
If you’re just visiting Nevada or the city for a short trip, paddle board rentals are easily found, along with day passes to the lake itself.
If you’re an experienced paddler looking for a slightly more challenging SUP trip in Nevada, then the Colorado River that flows through Laughlin could be just the spot for you.
The river has plenty of launch ramps available as well as companies that can provide you with a SUP tour of the Colorado River.
With miles of flowing water to explore and paddle down, you can enjoy hours of fun while taking in the beautiful surroundings the river has to offer.
The largest reservoir in the United States is Lake Mead, which provides paddlers with 290 square miles of navigable water.
Sandstone rock lies on the shorelines of the reservoir, with many launch areas and beaches throughout. 900 campsites are found close to the lake, meaning you can spend numerous days touring the beautiful reservoir in Southern Nevada.
Various canyons and rock formations can be found throughout Lake Mead, some of which can only be explored by stand up paddle boards and small boats.
The last location on our list of where to paddle board in Nevada is the lesser-known Lake Mohave.
Formed by the Davis Dam, Lake Mohave has ideal swimming temperatures come summertime, and its beaches that are located along its shoreline give you easy access to the water.
Because of its shallow waters, Lake Mohave is an excellent site to try the sport of SUPing or for new paddlers who require some extra practice.
Paddle boarding in Nevada has never been easier, thanks to the many rental shops found all over the state.
Whether you want to rent a board for a day or go on a SUP tour, here are some recommendations for paddle board rentals in Nevada.
Las Vegas has a couple of SUP locations that are worth checking out!
Lake Las Vegas is roughly a 30-minute drive from central Las Vegas and offers visitors the chance to SUP, kayak, and even jet pack over its tranquil waters.
You can take your own paddle board to the lake, although a single payment launch fee will be charged. Alternatively, you can hire rentals from the shops along the lake’s edge.
Lake Mead is slightly further out from Las Vegas at an estimated 40-minute drive. It's the largest reservoir in the United States and has 290 square miles of water to explore. Camping and day-use areas are found close to Lake Mead, where you can spend your days relaxing and leisurely paddling.
Yes! You can paddle board down the Colorado River Via Laughlin. The river provides a slightly more challenging journey than if you were to paddle on a lake because of its flowing waters.
The river has become well-liked amongst stand up paddlers and is worth checking out!
You can bring your own board to Lake Las Vegas, however, you would need to pay a daily launch fee of $30.
Season passes that are unlimited are also available, giving you the option to bring your board whenever you please.
Alternatively, numerous paddle board rental shops can be found along the edge of the lake.
Lake Tahoe is one of the most well-known SUP spots in Nevada. It has a variety of different areas where you can paddle and spend days relaxing.
We’ve broken down the 17 best places to paddle board in Lake Tahoe to give you the best idea of what Tahoe has to offer.
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