Paddle Boarding in Pagosa Springs Overview
Located in southern Colorado, just 35 miles north of the border of New Mexico, is a town called Pagosa Springs. As you may have guessed, it’s known for its namesake thermal hot springs. Lesser known but equally remarkable is the incredible outdoor recreation scene that surrounds the town. Based on the top of the San Juan Basin and surrounded by the 3-million-acre San Juan National Forest, the outdoor adventures are endless.
Pagosa Springs has the world’s deepest geothermal hot springs, making a hot springs soak a must-do when visiting. But there are other ways to enjoy the water here, too, that are just as rejuvenating and refreshing! SUP in Pagosa Springs is a popular summer activity with plenty of flat water and lakes that make it easy to stay upright on your board and enjoy the scenery.
Why SUP in Pagosa Springs Is Great
There is so much to love about water sports in this beautiful place. Here are a few of our favorite things about paddle boarding Pagosa Springs:
Portability Means You Can See More
One of the best things about paddle boarding is that transporting your board is easy – especially if it’s a packable, inflatable board. That’s especially beneficial in Pagosa Springs, where some of the best lakes are a bit of a drive.
Lakes with Whitewater Bans
They take flat water seriously in Pagosa Springs. Most of the popular SUP destinations in this region have prohibitions on whitewater wakes, if they allow motor boats at all. You don’t have to be worried about getting knocked into the water by a string of bumpy waves.
Where to SUP in Pagosa Springs
There are countless lakes in Pagosa for paddle boarding and enjoying beautiful mountain scenery. Most of the reservoirs are surrounded by thick forest, which makes for a lovely, quiet afternoon to enjoy on the water.
Lake Pagosa is surrounded by mostly private residences, and swimming is not allowed, but paddle boarding here can be a wonderful experience. It’s conveniently located a short drive west of town.
Navajo State Park
If you’re looking for the best place to paddle board in Pagosa Springs, Navajo State Park should be high on your list. With 15,000 acres of water, this 35-mile lake actually extends into both Colorado and New Mexico. Navajo State Park is in Arboles, CO, about a 45-minute drive from Pagosa Springs.
Williams Creek Reservoir
If you’re looking for flat water SUP, Pagosa Springs has a number of lakes and reservoirs for a calm day paddle. Williams Creek Reservoir is about 27 miles from Pagosa Springs and makes for a sublime day of paddling and fishing. There are many coves to explore and sandy beaches all around the 508-acre lake, which is surrounded by lush forests and towering peaks. Motorized boats are permitted, but whitewater wakes are not allowed.
Big Meadow Reservoir
Another one of the excellent lakes Pagosa for paddle boarding is Big Meadow Reservoir, located just east of the Continental Divide on Wolf Creek Pass, about 30 miles from town. Paddling and picnic opportunities abound – plus, those spectacular views of the surrounding mountains never get old.
When to SUP in Pagosa Springs
The summer months of June and July when the weather is warm are when most people choose to SUP in Pagosa Springs. Because Pagosa Springs is a small town and typically underrated, you don’t have to worry about too much pre-planning or crowds, especially in the summer season. Highs in June, July, and August are typically low 80s, high 70s. There is less rain in June, which has only about 4 days of precipitation, while July and August have 7 and 9 days, respectively. Rain storms are typically short in Colorado, so don’t let a little water in the forecast keep you off the lake!
Getting to Pagosa Springs
One of the coolest things about Pagosa Springs is that you have access to all four corners when you visit this southern Colorado town. You can easily drive to some of the most beautiful parts of New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona from Pagosa Springs – which also means you can arrive to the town via these states, as well.
Pagosa Springs has a small county airport, but all the flights that land here connect through the airport in Durango – La Plata County Airport – which is about an hour’s drive from Pagosa Springs. The largest nearby international airports are Denver International Airport, which is about a 5 hour drive from Pagosa Springs, and Albuquerque International Sunport, less than 4 hour’s drive.
Pagosa Springs SUP Rentals, Tours & Lessons
If you need a stand up paddle board rental Pagosa Springs, TripOutside offers the best Pagosa Springs SUP guides, along with tours and lessons. Our outfitter partners are all four star rated or above, and they are some of the most experienced Pagosa Springs SUP providers in the state of Colorado. We take the guesswork out of booking your Pagosa paddle boarding trip – all of our outfitters provide top notch service and safety.
Paddle Board Pagosa Springs FAQs
Is Lake Pagosa private?
Lake Pagosa is not private, but it is surrounded by mostly private residences. There are several clearly marked public access points – here is a map.
Can you paddleboard on Lake Pagosa?
You can paddleboard on Lake Pagosa, but you cannot swim in the lake. You must wear a life jacket while paddling on Lake Pagosa.