Roxy Christensen takes out a new Glide SUP race board on Tibble Fork. (Chris Knoles)
Paddleboarding is an activity people of all ages and skill levels can learn. Sometimes referred to as Stand Up Paddling (SUP), paddleboarding is an activity done in oceans, lakes or rivers while lying, kneeling or standing.
Bodies of water within the Uinta Mountains and in local valleys of Utah cater to the paddleboarding sport.
Below are 10 paddleboarding destinations along the Wasatch Front easily accessible from Utah County and Salt Lake Valley:
Highland Pond welcomes families with swings, slides, a sandy beach and a safe area for beginner paddleboarders.
“(It’s) a perfect place to go if it is your first time,” said Bob Pettit, founder of the paddle board rental shop AirGo. “You’re never too far to swim to shore.”
Bartholomew Park is another family and beginner friendly destination for paddleboarding. This paddleboarding experience offers both a sandy beach and concessions for its patrons.
Approximately seven miles up American Fork canyon lies a popular recreation area.
Tibble Fork Reservoir is known for its scenic views and blue water. With easy access to the reservoir, Tibble Fork is considered beginner level for its small size and calm winds. A $6, three-day pass to the area is charged either at the mouth of American Fork canyon or near the opposite end of Alpine Loop.
If paddleboarders are looking for a more secluded and adventurous location, Silver Lake Flat Reservoir sits 15 minutes past Tibble Fork. The reservoir has less crowds and is triple the size of Tibble Fork. Although the body of water is only accessible by a dirt road, Silver Lake Flat is a beautiful and peaceful place to paddleboard.
Utah Lake is favored for its proximity to BYU and easy access points. Though the scenery isn’t as pretty as other places, there are many entries to the water.
The water’s access points at the Lindon Marina and at the Utah Lake State Park entrance both charge usage fees. According to Pettit, there is a free access point to Utah Lake south of the Lindon Marina.
Just 15 minutes south of Park City, Jordanelle State Park is a popular destination for water sports, including boating, jet skiing, kayaking and paddleboarding.
An easy paddleboard entry point is located on the west side of the reservoir at the Hailstone day use area. Day use at Hailstone is $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends.
Deer Creek offers less crowds and great mountain views, and the reservoir is only a 20-minute drive up Provo Canyon.
Pettit recommends going paddleboarding in the morning to beat the lake winds in the afternoon. Since Deer Creek Reservoir is a state park, there is a $10, day-use fee.
Inflatable paddleboards are a great way to float along the Provo river.
However, it may be difficult to find a rental shop that insures paddleboarding in this location. Traditional paddleboards are not recommended for this type of use.
“Mirror Lake is one of the largest lakes in Utah and sits at 10,400 feet in the Uinta Mountains,” according to Teton Gravity Research.
Mirror Lake is a great destination for paddleboarding and individuals can hike to surrounding lakes such as Bonnie Lake, Scudder Lake and Natural Basin “with a lightweight, inflatable SUP,” according to the article.
“Strawberry Reservoir is located just 65 miles east of the Wasatch Front and offers four developed marinas, as well as pristine rocky beaches and campgrounds. The fishing is good on Strawberry and even better on a float,” according to Park City SUP, a paddleboarding company.