Travel

Where to Stand-Up Paddleboard in Seattle

For beginner, intermediate, and advanced paddlers

By Austin Iverson July 28, 2018

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This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article is part of the cover story for the August 2018 issue. Find more from the story hereClick here to subscribe.

There are plenty of places to go for stand-up paddleboarding, whatever your skill level. Don’t have your own board? Many of the same places that rent kayaks, also rent SUPs. You’ll also find rentals at local parks and beaches. 

For Beginners
Lake Sammamish: Lakes, like this one between Redmond and Issaquah, are your best bet for calmer, warmer and less crowded waters at any time of the year.
Seward Park: Summer breezes can kick up the waves on the region’s biggest lake. Get out on the quieter, more paddle-friendly portion of Lake Washington, such as Andrews Bay by Seward Park and across from Mercer Island. More advanced paddlers may want to work their way across the lake to the island itself.
The North Cascades: This area is home to many glacial lakes, including Baker Lake (see next page), that are open to paddleboards and kayaks. You’ll be farther from home and at a higher altitude, so plan your attire accordingly. Consider packing a tent to make a weekend out of it.

Intermediate
Blake Island State Park: Once you’re ready for longer open-water crossings, take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island and paddle south to Blake Island. Make the trek early in the morning to paddle on the calmest water.
Vashon Island: With a more protected peninsula on the east side and open waters to the west, the waters around Vashon Island are a great place for paddlers of any ability.

Advanced
Duwamish River: Glide down Seattle’s only river, taking in all the rich history of the Duwamish people and getting a glimpse of an early industrialized Seattle.
San Juan Islands: Head north to the San Juans for some real open-water paddling. Take a weekend to island-hop, camp and watch for whales.
Deception Pass: Once you can handle a strong current, take a trip to Deception Pass, the strait between Whidbey and Fidalgo islands, for an exciting, fast-paced day on the water.

 

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