Standup Paddleboarding in Bend
Warm weather, bluebird skies, and gliding along the water with grand mountains encompassing you, watching countless Osprey soar, and enjoying the simple pleasure of being one with nature. Now, that’s what’s SUP. Sorry…I couldn’t help myself.
Bend serves up some of the best access and scenery in the Northwest for standup paddleboarding, a water sport that’s incredibly good for the mind, body, and soul. From dazzling alpine lakes to swift-flowing rivers, you’ll find no shortage of accessible water that’s as easy or challenging as you want it to be.
Beginners and those looking for stunningly gorgeous and easy to navigate lakes will relish standup paddleboarding at Sparks, Hosmer, or Todd Lake. Nestled along the Cascade Lakes Highway, these three are empty of aggressive powerboats or blaring stereos; instead, they are full of serene beauty and stunning photo ops. Elk Lake Resort and Cultus Lake Resort come equipped with amenities like restaurants and a marina for convenient access for those looking to grab a burger or stay the weekend in a cabin.
If you’re looking to get your SUP legs on the Deschutes River, a good place to start is at Riverbend Park. Put your board in from the sandy shore and paddle upstream toward the Bill Healy Memorial Bridge. You can turn around there and let yourself drift slowly back to your starting point or continue on past and paddle through the Old Mill District. Just make sure you’ve got the energy left to paddle back upstream and watch for signs you’re approaching the dicey spillway at the Colorado Avenue Bridge. For more ideas and regulations, check out our Bend Adventure Journal.
For standup paddleboard rentals in Bend, or to throw down for your own gear, check in with the pros over at Tumalo Creek Canoe & Kayak, Stand On Liquid, and Bend Kayak School. If you’d rather leave the transportation to someone else and have an expert guide, then book a trip with Suncountry Tours.