Paddleboarding is catching steam in Utah, and despite the state’s lack of “beach,” there’s a vast number of great paddleboarding spots. Next time you want a break from the dry heat, round up some friends, locate some paddleboarding equipment, and try one of these great locations!
Located near Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah, Highland Glen Park is a hidden oasis. And although Highland Glen Park technically refers to a large expanse of green, the park’s highlight is its large pond where you can swim, fish, boat, kayak, and paddleboard. There is also a playground, volleyball courts, and even a sandy shore for your post-paddleboard sprawl. Highland Glen Park’s pond is easy to access, relatively small, and one of the best spots for beginner paddlers. In fact, at any point on the pond, you’re never too far from the shore, which is probably a relief to parents who are worried about potential safety hazards.
Not far from Utah Valley or Park City, Jordanelle Reservoir is a popular spot for Utahans who love all kinds of watersports. From boating to jet skiing and from kayaking to paddleboarding, you can do pretty much anything on this expansive, scenically situated body of water. Fed and drained by the Provo River, the reservoir offers out-of-this-world views of Mount Timpanogos and is also home to accompanying campsites and pavilions that are easy to reserve. The reservoir has various points of entry for paddlers, meaning despite the reservoir’s popularity, it is rare to find an area that is too crowded. This also means, however, that paddleboarders should take care not to become too isolated on the water, in case of an accident.
Located up American Fork Canyon, Silver Lake Flat Reservoir is accessible by a dirt road and is only 15 minutes farther up the canyon than the more accessible Tibble Fork. That said, Silver Lake is much more secluded than Tibble Fork and offers more opportunity for adventure. It is also triple the size of Tibble Fork, making paddleboarding particularly peaceful in comparison with more popular locations. Most years, much of Silver Lake is drained by the end of the summer, though there is usually still enough water to have a pleasant paddleboarding experience.
When people talk about Utah heat, they’re likely referring to the dry heat they feel when they land at the Salt Lake City International Airport in mid-August. And while this dry heat can sometimes prove oddly refreshing, it is nothing in comparison with the dry summer heat in southern Utah. Nevertheless, that’s what makes paddleboarding so wonderful at Sand Hollow State Park: you’ll get tan, you’ll feel refreshed in the water, and you’ll be able to dry off quickly before getting in again. But those aren’t the only reasons why the park is the perfect paddleboarding destination. The area’s beauty is unrivaled and almost mythical. It’s everything you could wish from the wild west.
Pineview Reservoir boasts some of northern Utah’s warmest waters, and while it is pretty hard to believe, the water really is warm in comparison with other Utah paddleboarding locations. Every minute at Pineview feels more and more like a beach, and while you’ll probably never reach the point that you feel you’re in California, it’s a great option for those who need to stay close to home. The water is calm, the camping is convenient, and sometimes, it really does feel like the possibilities are endless.