Stand up paddle boarding is an exhilarating chance to gain a unique perspective of the Pacific Northwest. With the lush green forests, beautiful mountains, and crystal clear waters both within the city and a short driving distance away, Seattle has some of the best paddle boarding you could ask for. However, finding the best paddle boarding in Seattle can be difficult without any prior knowledge or if you've just moved to the city.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best paddle boarding locations near Seattle. From put ins on Lake Union to the Puget Sound, we will explore various paddle boarding spots and their adventure considerations. So, if you are a new paddle boarder looking for the ultimate guide to Seattle's best paddle boarding spots, strap in!
Best Paddle Boarding In Seattle - Top Put In Locations Within City Limits
In this section, we dive into the best paddle boarding locations right within the city limits of Seattle. These spots are perfect if you're looking for an aquatic adventure that's close to home. With stunning views of both the city skyline, the water in Seattle creates a real urban oasis vibe. These paddle boarding put in locations offer an unmatched combination of convenience and fun. Get ready to hit the water without even having to leave the city!
Lake Union: Lake Union, surrounded by Seattle's skyline, is an obvious first choice if you're looking to stay near home. The lake is calmer in the mornings but can get a fair amount of boat traffic later in the day. We recommend taking a life jacket with you as the Seattle Harbor Patrol can sometimes ticket paddle boarders without a life jacket. If you need a spot to put in, we'd recommend just east of Gas Works Park.
Lake Washington: Spanning almost 22 miles, Lake Washington is Seattle's second-largest natural lake and also one of the deepest lakes around! Its beautiful crystal clear waters are perfect for paddle boarding, with plenty of places to explore. We'd recommend putting in at Madison Park Beach and paddling South from there. If you paddle North you can also explore the waters by the 520 Bridge.
Puget Sound: If you are looking for an adventurous paddle boarding spot, both Alki Beach and Golden Gardens Park are great additional options. Be aware though that the water in the Puget Sound is much colder than the lakes and it can also have stronger currents and wind. So check conditions before you venture out and consider wearing a wetsuit as well.
Best Paddle Boarding Near Seattle - Locations a Short Drive Away
If you're willing to go a bit further afield to enhance your paddle boarding experience, several spectacular locations are fun day trip away from Seattle. We assure you that both of these spots are well worth the journey.
Lake Stevens: Lake Stevens, located 30 miles north of Seattle, is a hidden gem for paddle boarders. The lake, surrounded by the stunning Cascade mountains, offers a peaceful paddle boarding experience with little boat traffic. A great spot to put in on the lake is Lundeen Park.
Colchuck Lake: If you're up for a challenging adventure and a bit longer of a drive, Colchuck Lake, situated 130 miles east of Seattle, is your ideal destination. This hidden treasure requires a significant hike to reach the pristine waters, making it essential to have a paddle board that is easy to carry. Once you get up there though, the breathtaking scenery and tranquil waters make it all worthwhile. There's tons of other hikes and adventures to be had in the area as well - including the Enchantments Lakes. We'd recommend making a weekend out of it!
The Seattle area has a great put in location for every paddler. Remember when choosing your paddle boarding spot to consider things like parking, boat traffic, water temperature, and whether a hike is involved. No matter which spot you choose, paddle boarding in Seattle is an unforgettable experience that will make memories that last a lifetime.
Don't have your own paddle board? No worries at all! Renting a stand up paddle board on GeerGarage is a convenient and cost-effective way to dip your toes into the sport before fully committing. So, pack your bags, get a paddle board, and embark on a paddle boarding adventure in Seattle today!