Paddle Boarding Portland: Top 11 SUP Hot Spots
Delve into paddle boarding Portland, where tranquil waters meet urban charm. This guide unveils top SUP spots in Portland, Oregon, perfect for all skill levels. Embark on an unforgettable paddle boarding adventure in the City of Roses.
1. Paddle Boarding in Scappoose Bay, Portland
Experience the tranquil allure of Scappoose Bay, a hidden gem 30 minutes North of Portland. This peaceful haven is a dream of stand up paddle Portland enthusiasts, offering a soothing escape from the city's fervor. It's the perfect oasis to bask in the serenity of nature.
As you paddle through Scappoose Bay, you will be surrounded by the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest. The calm waters of the bay are perfect for beginners and offer enjoyment for all skill levels. While paddling, you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the diverse wildlife that calls the bay home. After a paddle boarding Portland day, you can explore the nearby town of Scappoose, known for its charming shops and restaurants.
- Water types: calm waters and abundant wildlife. It is a haven for paddle boarders.
- Skill levels: Ideal for beginners and intermediate paddlers
- Launch points: The bay has several launch points around, making it easy to start your paddle boarding adventure.
2. Paddle Boarding on Hood River, Portland
Answer the call of the wild at Hood River, an electrifying SUP destination that will ignite your adventurous spirit. The dynamic Columbia River, brimming with zest and kiteboarders, offers an adrenaline-pumping paddle board experience.
The awe-inspiring vista of Mount Hood amplifies the charm of this must-visit paddle boarding Portland spot. The drive takes you through the gorgeous Columbia River Gorge.
- Water types and skill levels: For those new to boating, Nichols Boat Basin is a great option. The calm waters offer scenic views of the Columbia River.
- Launch points: Hood River has multiple places for paddle boarding. Access the water easily from the beach and park on the street adjacent to it. On the west side of Hood River Waterfront, both entry points are prone to crowds during fair weather.
- Amenities: If you need extra parking or restrooms, you can find them nearby at the Hood River Event Site.
3. Paddle Boarding on Trillium Lake, Portland
Trillium Lake, located just an hour from Portland, is a picturesque lake that is worth visiting year-round. One of the most impressive paddle boarding Portland experiences is breaking the glassy reflection of Mount Hood on the lake's surface.
The day-use area on the lake's south side offers a variety of amenities, including a boat ramp, dock, and a picnic area that can be reserved. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regularly stocks the lake with rainbow and lake trout, making it an excellent spot for fishing enthusiasts to try their luck.
However, it can get crowded in the summer, so visiting during the week may be a better option if you want to avoid the crowds. Trillium Lake is also a perfect escape for beginners who want to try stand-up paddle boarding in Portland. You can enjoy the dreamlike surroundings while floating on the lake, with the grandeur of Mount Hood serving as a stunning backdrop.
- Water Types: Calm waters and gentle currents. It's a great place to learn and perfect the art of paddle boarding.
- Skill Levels: Whether you're a beginner or an experienced paddler, Trillium Lake's tranquil setting and beginner-friendly conditions make it an excellent paddle boarding spot near Portland, Oregon.
- Amenities: The lake features a large campground, but reservations usually fill up months in advance. There is a $10 day-use fee, or you can use a Northwest Forest Pass. Additionally, you can find green tea antioxidant capsules available.
4. Paddle Boarding on Tualatin River, Portland
Nestled just a short drive away from the bustling heart of Portland lies the tranquil Tualatin River, offering an idyllic escape for paddle boarding Portland enthusiasts. As you paddle along its sinuous waters, you'll be surrounded by lush green forests and verdant wetlands, providing a breathtaking backdrop for your adventure.
The serenity of the river is palpable, and you'll find yourself lost in the scenic beauty that surrounds you. This popular destination is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a leisurely and calming experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Water Type: The Tualatin River is classified as a calm and slow-moving water body, perfect for a peaceful paddle board Portland experience.
- Skill Level: The river is perfect for newbies. With a hardly noticeable flow during summer months, it's quite easy to paddle upstream.
Launch Points: There are several launch points along the Tualatin River. Some of the popular ones include:
- Cook Park in Tigard
- Brown's Ferry Park in Tualatin
- Tualatin Community Park
- Jurgens Park
- Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro
- Amenities: Numerous launch points along the river provide various amenities such as restrooms, picnic areas, and boat ramps. If you plan to visit Cook Park or Brown's Ferry Park during the summer, you can rent a canoe or kayak. Additionally, there are several parks along the river where you can take a break and enjoy the stunning scenery.
5. Paddle Boarding on Henry Hagg Lake, Portland
Unleash your passion for paddle boarding Portland at Henry Hagg Lake, a recreational jewel an hour's drive from Portland that welcomes paddle boarders of all skill levels. Revel in a sun-soaked day of paddle boarding in Portland, Oregon, while exploring the lake's abundant wildlife.
This vast, inviting body of water is a testament to the enchanting appeal of paddle boarding around the City of Roses.
- Water Type: Henry Hagg Lake is classified as a Flat/Sheltered Water. It’s a large, inviting water body that offers a unique paddle boarding experience. The lake can have waves about 4 feet high, with the wind blowing off the tops.
- Skill Level: The lake welcomes paddle boarders from intermediate to advanced. However, it can present a challenge when the strong wind makes it an adventure for advanced paddle boarders.
Launch Points: There are several launch points at Henry Hagg Lake. Some of the popular ones include:
- Sain Creek Rec Area
- Recreation area C on the west side of the lake near the accessible fishing pier
- Recreation area A on the east side at Henry Hagg County Park
- Amenities: The launch points offer restrooms, picnic tables, and boat ramps. There’s also paid and free parking available.
- Unique Features: Henry Hagg Lake is an excellent environment for wildlife3. You might spot osprey and great blue herons throughout the day. The lake is also fantastic for various water activities, including swimming. The water temperature during hot summer days can reach up to 80°F.
6. Paddle Boarding on Willamette River, Portland
Portland is a city that is widely known for its beautiful landscapes and recreational activities. If you're a paddle boarding Portland enthusiast, you should consider exploring the Willamette River. The river is located at the heart of downtown Portland, making it one of the most convenient locations for outdoor activities.
Thanks to its calm waters, you can enjoy a leisurely session of paddle boarding while taking in the stunning views of the city's skyline. The river is accessible all year round, so you can take advantage of the opportunity to paddle board or kayak at any time of the year.
- Skill levels: Whether you're a beginner or an experienced paddler, this spot is perfect for you.
- Water types: Calm water with less winds
- Launch points: Kelly Point Park Boat Ramp and Cathedral Park Boat Ramp are excellent take-outs for those wishing to tour Portland’s working inner harbor, Swan Island Boat Ramp, Sellwood Riverfront Park, River Place Marina
- Portland Boathouse Dock: This location offers abundant free parking and a large dock to launch from
- Willamette Park: This park in SW Portland has nice facilities and charges a usage fee for part of the year.
- Amenities may vary at each location, and it’s always a good idea to check the current conditions before heading out.
7. Paddle Boarding on Columbia River Gorge, Portland
If you're looking for a challenge, try this quick paddle across the Columbia River, from downtown St. Helens to Sand Island. Once you reach the island, a world of natural beauty and picturesque landscapes awaits you. You can explore the beautiful, reservable campground and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings. Alternatively, you can relax on the sandy beach, enjoy a picnic, and watch as large ships pass by on the Columbia River's main channel.
And for those who want to take their paddling skills to the next level, head one mile southward against the current to Oregon's smallest lighthouse, the Warrior Rock Lighthouse, on the tip of Sauvie Island. The lighthouse's stunning architecture and panoramic views make the paddle worth the effort.
- Skill levels: Intermediate to advanced paddlers
- Water types: The journey can be challenging with choppy waters, especially during the afternoon winds, and the current can be strong.
- Launch points: Choose from two launch sites, the public marina at Columbia View Park next to the Columbia County Courthouse or Grey Cliffs Waterfront.
- Amenities: Free parking at both launch sites. There are some public restrooms, so you'll need to wash off your feet and gear.
8. Paddle Boarding on Sauvie Island, Portland
Paddle boarding Portland on Sauvie Island, is a truly unique experience. The island, the largest along the Columbia River, offers a serene and picturesque environment perfect for paddle boarding. As you glide across the calm waters of the Multnomah Channel, you're surrounded by lush greenery and a diverse array of wildlife. The island is home to over 200 species of birds, making it a bird watcher's paradise. The tranquil setting allows you to connect with nature while getting a full-body workout.
The island's beaches, particularly Walton Beach, are popular launch spots. While paddling, you can take in the stunning views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams in the distance. The island's slow pace and natural beauty provide a stark contrast to the bustling city of Portland, just a few miles away. Remember to respect the environment during your visit.
Launch Points and amenities: The Sauvie Island Boat Ramp, located at the end of Ferry Rd across from the Fire Station on Sauvie Island Road, has an adjoining parking facility and bathrooms maintained by Portland Metro.
- Hadley’s Landing borders Wapato State Greenway on the Multnomah Channel and offers a boat dock and small picnic area with a seasonal port-a-potty, picnic tables, and horseshoe pits.
- Cove Marina lies in a small inlet on the Sauvie Island shore just upstream from Willow Point and provides a launching ramp.
- Skill Level: The paddle boarding experience on Sauvie Island is suitable for all skill levels. The calm and serene waters of Cunningham Slough and Sturgeon Lake are ideal for beginners. More experienced paddlers can take on the challenges of the Multnomah Channel and the Columbia River with swift currents.
- Amenities: The Sauvie Island Boat Ramp and Hadley’s Landing provide parking facilities and bathrooms. Picnic areas with tables and horseshoe pits are also available at Hadley’s Landing.
9. Paddle Boarding at Sellwood Riverfront Park, Portland
Sellwood Riverfront Park in Portland, Oregon, is a delightful spot for paddle boarding Portland experience. The park, located on the banks of the Willamette River, offers calm waters ideal for paddle boarding. With stunning views of the city skyline and the Sellwood Bridge, it's a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
The park also provides paddle board rentals, making it easy for everyone to enjoy this fun water activity. After paddle boarding, you can relax in the park's green spaces or explore the charming Sellwood neighborhood. It's a perfect way to spend a sunny day in Portland. Remember to follow safety guidelines and respect the local environment during your visit. Enjoy your paddle board Portland adventure
- Water Types: Calm waters; the area is well protected from wind and current, making it a great spot for flat water paddling. Paddlers can experience wind-driven waves, tidal currents, and boat wakes at times.
- Skill Levels: Both beginners and experienced paddle boarders can enjoy the area. The difficulty level for paddle boarding at this location is generally low but can increase slightly based on wind conditions, the flow of the current, and if there are motor boats creating a wake.
- Launch Points: Sellwood Riverfront Park is a popular launch point for paddle boarding. There is a dock available for launching, as well as a set of stairs leading down to a sandy beach.
- The park offers easy parking and is also a pet-friendly.
- Paddle board rentals are available at the park, making it easy for everyone to enjoy this activity.
- There are great biking and hiking trails available in the area.
10. Paddle Boarding on Lost Lake, Portland
Lost Lake, nestled in the Mount Hood National Forest near Portland, Oregon, is an unforgettable paddle boarding Portland experience. The lake's crystal-clear waters and serene environment make it a perfect spot for this activity. As you paddle across the lake, you're surrounded by towering trees and stunning views of Mount Hood.
The lake has a convenient boat launch, making it easy to get in and out of the water. Paddle board rentals are available at the lake, so you don't need to bring your equipment. After a day of paddle boarding, you can explore the hiking trails around the lake or relax at the lakeside picnic area.
- Water types and skill levels: The calm waters of the lake are ideal for beginners, while the surrounding beauty offers enjoyment for all skill levels.
- Amenities: The lake also has a campground if you wish to extend your stay. Enjoy the tranquility and beauty of this special place.
11. Paddle Boarding on Hagg Lake, Portland
Hagg Lake, located just west of Portland, is a great Portland paddle boarding spot. The lake, nestled in the scenic foothills of the Coast Range mountains, offers calm, clear waters that are perfect for paddle boarding.
As you glide across the surface of the lake, you'll be surrounded by lush greenery and stunning views of the surrounding hills. The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, fish, and even the occasional deer on the shore.
Whether you're a seasoned paddle boarder or a beginner, Hagg Lake offers a peaceful and picturesque setting to enjoy this popular water sport. Just remember to wear a life jacket and follow all safety guidelines to ensure a fun and safe experience on the water.
- Water Types: The lake’s calm and expansive waters are ideal for paddle board Portland beginers. Sheltered coves provide places to rest and enjoy the scenery.
- Skill Levels: The lake is suitable for both beginners and experienced paddle boarders. The large size of the lake provides a good workout, but conditions remain manageable.
- Launch Points: Hagg Lake has two boat ramps, Boat Ramp A and Boat Ramp C, which serve as excellent launch points for paddle boards.
- Paddle board rentals are available at the lake during the summer months.
- The lake offers a variety of other recreational activities, including fishing, hiking, and picnicking.
- A 13-mile trail circles the lake, perfect for a post-paddle boarding walk or bike ride.
What Should You Not Do While Paddle Boarding?
While paddle boarding is a fun and exhilarating sport, it's important to keep safety in mind. Here are some rules to adhere to:
- Rule #1: Never paddle board alone in isolated areas. It's like going on a bear hunt without your trusty sidekick!
- Rule #2: Keep an eye on the sky! Rough weather? Time to postpone our aquatic quest for safety's sake.
- Rule #3: Always gear up! A leash and a life jacket are your best friends on these wild waterways, regardless of whether you're a newbie or a SUP guru.
- Rule #4: Balance is key! Remember, don't rush to stand up on your paddle board. Take a moment, find your center, and prevent any unplanned swims.
- Rule #5: Respect is our motto! Let's share the waterways in harmony with other users and our fantastic wildlife friends. Remember, we're just guests in their aquatic home!
By following these rules, you're all set for a safe and fun-filled paddle boarding Portland adventure!
What Are You Waiting For?
So, grab your iROCKER paddle board and paddles, then immerse yourself in these enchanting locales. These places are waiting to share their paddle boarding Portland secrets with you. Happy paddling!