The Best Places to Stand Up Paddleboard near Sunriver Resort
Stand up paddleboarding offers a fun, relaxing way to play on the water and even delivers a full body workout… And since you stand at your full height, you can enjoy unique views of everything from underwater wildlife to what's on the horizon. With all the benefits and endless opportunities to try this trending sport, we wanted to give you our favorite places in Central Oregon to paddleboard, and how you can get there.
Stand Up Paddleboarding… you’ve seen it. Those swimsuit clad adventurists standing on what looks like a long surfboard, magically gliding through the water with a silly grin and an aura of excitement around them. You know you want to try it! Last year, stand up paddleboarding (or SUP, for you cool kids) was listed as the most popular outdoor activity among first-time participants.
This awesome pastime is popping up everywhere in our local waterways and bringing a new kind of adventure to outdoor enthusiasts. The lakes and rivers around Central Oregon are perfect for this sport, which requires calm waters with even flow. SUP offers a fun, relaxing way to play on the water and even delivers a full body workout… And since you stand at your full height, you can enjoy unique views of everything from underwater wildlife to what's on the horizon. With all the benefits of SUP and endless opportunities to try this trending sport, we wanted to give you our favorite places in Central Oregon to SUP, and how you can get there:
Deschutes River: Located right in Sunriver Resort’s backyard, it’s no surprise that this is first on our list of places to visit for stand up paddleboarding. The Sunriver Resort Marina rents the SUP boards and the paddles by the hour so you can take as much time as you need to get out and get up. With slower moving water in the stretch located in and around this area, the Deschutes River offers great water conditions and fantastic sightseeing opportunities while paddling. Plus, if you are a first timer, the Marina even offers lessons and classes.
Sparks Lake: This is an amazing location for calm waters and phenomenal views, the perfect building blocks for a memorable SUP session. Sparks Lake is located near the crest of the central Cascade Range about 25 miles north-west of Sunriver. To get there from Sunriver, head west on Spring River Road towards Mt. Bachelor. Turn right on Edison Ice Cave Road and stay right onto Forest Service Road 45. Turn left onto Highway 372, or the Cascade Lake Scenic Byway. The Sparks Lake turnoff is about two miles just beyond Mt. Bachelor. The site has a parking area and a lake trail making it easy to access.
Cultus Lake: This is one of the most popular lakes in the region due to its abundance of water sports with opportunities for waterskiing, windsurfing, swimming, sailing, paddleboarding, and jet skiing on the lake as well as access to trails that lead north into the lake-filled area of the Three Sisters Wilderness. To get there from Sunriver, head west on Spring River Road and continue for 24 miles until you see the Cultus Lake turnoff.
Elk Lake: At nearly 4,900 feet above sea level, this beautiful lake is perfect representation of Central Oregon’s volcanic landscape. With cool waters and numerous small inlets and coves to explore, Elk Lake is a great place to discover via paddleboard. It is only about 31 miles away from Sunriver. To get there, head west on Spring River Road and turn right on Edison Ice Cave Road. Stay right onto Forest Service Road 45, then turn left onto Highway 372, or the Cascade Lake Scenic Byway. Look for the Elk Lake day use turnoff.