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Best Paddle Board (SUP) Rentals and Tours in CO - Salida

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Found 2 shops
Dvorak Expeditions
Based on 264 reviews

Dvorak provides inflatable kayaks, SUPs and rafts for rental right on the Arkansas River in Salida, CO. As early pioneers of western whitewater river rafting in the Rocky Mountains, Dvorak owns the first outfitter license by the state of CO.  They rent only the highest quality gear that provide the most stable and predictable ride possible on the Arkansas River or any of the nearby lakes in the Arkansas Valley.read more

Dvorak Expeditions Rafting
FROM$80 per 4 hrs
Based on 264 reviews

As Colorado's first licensed outfitter, Dvorak Expeditions has over 40 years of experience rafting Colorado's most renowned rivers. Dvorak Expeditions offers a wide range of Colorado whitewater rafting trips on the Arkansas, Colorado, Dolores, Gunnison, North Platte, Rio Grande, and San Miguel rivers rafting ranging from half-day to multi-day excursions. Their guides make the difference and will make sure your rafting trip is fun, safe and memorable - whether it's a calm float or whitewater adventure.read more

Salida Paddle Boarding Overview 

Salida is a sweet little mountain town, hours away from the hustle and bustle of Colorado Springs and Denver but with its own fun, outdoorsy culture. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the town also boasts the beautiful Arkansas River where you can often see people rafting and kayaking.  There are also several area lakes with flat water perfect for SUP activities. If you want to SUP Colorado, Salida is the place to be. 

Why Salida Paddle Boarding is Great 

If you’ve come to Salida to get your SUP on, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself before and after your Salida adventure. This little town offers a lot to do and see. Here are some of our favorite things about a paddle boarding trip to Salida, CO. 

Lakes For Days

There are some amazing paddle boarding lakes within a short jaunt of Salida. It doesn’t take much to fill up a day – or several days – with lakeside paddle boarding fun! 

Kick Off the Day With Local Coffee

Before you hit your board to explore the many lakes in this region, you can fuel up with some of the best coffee in southern Colorado at Mountain Phoenix Coffee Roasters. This small roastery specializes in single origin coffees and with a convenient location just off the Highway 50 business loop, you can drop in for a cuppa while en route to the lake.

Wind Down with a Drink

In addition to the quintessential line-up of microbreweries you’ll find in any self-respecting Colorado town, Salida also has options for those who prefer other types of relaxing beverages. Check out the craft spirits and cocktails at White Mountain Distillery, which has a goal to bottle their passion for outdoor adventures into spirits that shine with the essence of the mountains of Colorado.  

Plenty of Other Activities

In addition to SUP, Salida is renowned for whitewater rafting, mountain biking and hiking it’s many 14,000 foot peaks.  

Where to Go Paddle Boarding Near Salida

Perfect paddle boarding lakes abound in Salida Colorado!

Chalk Lake

Thirty minutes northwest of Salida you’ll find Chalk Lake, a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by forest. The flat water here is great for paddle boarding. To get there from Salida, you drive right past Mount Princeton Hot Springs, which makes for a great pre- or post-paddle stop! Chalk Lake also has a first come, first served campground. 

Cottonwood Lake

A little further north from Salida, up to Buena Vista and then southwest, you’ll find Cottonwood Lake. This glassy lake has some beautiful views in the fall because it’s surrounded by aspens. Buena Vista is also a fun mountain town worthy of a lunch stop on your way back to Salida (or en route to your next paddle boarding lake).  

O’Haver Lake

O’Haver Lake is a perfect paddle boarding option, just over 20 minutes southwest of Salida. Leashed dogs are welcome, so bring Fido along for a swim! The first come, first served campground at O’Haver Lake fills up quickly on the weekends, but staying there provides the opportunity for dusk and dawn wildlife sightings.

Fooses Lake

Head west on Highway 50 out of Salida and tiny Fooses Lake will appear on your left hand side after about 25 minutes. This small, man-made lake is a great Salida paddle boarding destination for those who really want to get away from it all. 

When to Go Paddle Boarding in Salida Colorado

Shoot for visiting in early summer: late May to June can make you feel like you have the town of Salida all to yourself! Salida sits in a valley that is ringed by mountains on all sides which impacts its climate significantly. It gets over 300 days a year of sunshine, and much lower precipitation than the surrounding mountains. Most tourists come to Salida in summer in the warmest months of July and August. 

If you come in the shoulder seasons of early spring or late fall, check the elevation of your lake destinations. High alpine lakes will likely get snowfall before Salida’s downtown, and chilly water temperatures can make shoulder-season paddle boarding less fun. Stick to the hot, mid-summer months so you can enjoy a swim in the crisp alpine waters. 

Getting to Salida Colorado

The closest airport to Salida is the Colorado Springs Airport (COS), about 100 miles or a 2-hour drive to the east. If you don’t want to rent a car (which is fine, the town of Salida is very walkable), you can get a shuttle from COS to the town. Denver International Airport (DIA), which is much larger than COS, is just over 2.5 hours’ drive from Salida. 

Salida Paddle Board Rentals, Tours & Lessons

If you need a stand up paddle board rental, Salida has a ton of options. TripOutside features the best Salida SUP rentals, guides, tours, and courses. Our outfitter partners are all four star rated or above, and they are some of the most experienced Salida SUP guides in the state of Colorado. We take the guesswork out of booking your Salida paddle boarding trip – all of our outfitters provide top notch service and safety.

Stand Up Paddle Board Salida FAQs

Can you paddle board on Chalk Lake?

Yes. Chalk Lake is a popular paddle boarding destination and it also has a first come, first served campground. 

Where can I SUP in Buena Vista? 

All of the lakes listed here – Chalk, Cottonwood, O’Haver, and Fooses – are easily accessible from Buena Vista as well as Salida. There are also several additional lakes great for paddle boarding north of Buena Vista, such as Twin Lakes and Clear Creek Reservoir. 

129 W Sackett Ave Salida
United States
David Inbody

Bill and the entire crew were great. Very professional and knowledgeable about the river and teaching newbies everything but more importantly fun to be on the river with. The food was great and all the boats and equipment were in good shape. Already planning our next trip.