- Posted On
- Jul 06, 2018
By Monique Beeley
North to south Utah is full of unique opportunities for recreation on the water. Whether it’s a day trip white water rafting on the Green River, a picturesque sunset SUP on Bear Lake, a family houseboat retreat on Lake Powell or a fully guided mutli-day epic adventure in Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River, Utah is THE place for your next H2O adventure.
Stand-up Paddleboarding or SUP is no longer just for those living by the ocean. This sport is making big waves in the outdoor recreation world on lakes and rivers. It’s fairly easy for newbies to pick up and is a great way to cool off in the hot summer months.
A few of our favorite SUP locales are Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Bear Lake and the Colorado River.
For those SUPer’s looking to go the distance, Flaming Gorge has recently created paddling trails, totaling 45 miles, that take you through some of the area’s best high desert landscapes. Trail maps are available at FlamgingGorgeCountry.com.
The Caribbean of the Rockies, aka Bear Lake is your destination if gliding through turquoise waters is top on your SUP list. This 20-mile long lake offers crystal clear views, sandy beaches and no visit to Bear Lake is complete without one of their famous raspberry shakes.
If you are in the mood for something a little faster paced, we suggest taking your SUP to the river. The daily section of the Colorado River, in Moab, is a great place to start. Navigating moving water is a bit trickier than paddling on flat water and Paddle Moab are the local experts that can make your experience a breeze.
Kayaking on the Great Salt Lake is a must, when visiting this majestic natural wonder. Remnant of the ancient Lake Bonneville, it’s the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. Sunset is the highly recommended and be sure to plan a bit of extra time to explore Antelope Island before hitting the water. Prior to visiting it’s best to check in with the state park for the current bug situation, timing is usually late spring and can be a bit crazy.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area aka Lake Powell is Utah’s ultimate H2O hotspot. When full it has nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, about the same as the entire west coast of the United States. This vast watery expanse creates a multitude of places to explore with 96 named canyons. Must-see destinations include: Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Hole in the Rock, Three Roof Ruins and Cathedral in the Desert.
House boating is the ultimate way to experience the all wonders of Lake Powell. Everything needed for a fun filled week can be found on these massive boats. Fully equipped with water slides for the kids, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and plenty of room for all your water toys, Kayaks and SUP’s. Lake Powell is an explorer’s paradise and having a SUP or kayak allows you to get into some of the breathtaking canyons that are too narrow for boats. The Escalante River arm is our favorite and offers plenty of options for paddling into secluded canyons that lead to amazing hikes.
Did you know - The mighty Colorado River supplies water for 30 million people and is one the most contested, recreated-on and controlled rivers on earth, flowing a total of 1,450 miles from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Sea of Cortez in northwestern Mexico.
The Green River is 730 miles long, flowing through Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. It’s the biggest tributary of the Colorado River. The confluence of these two rivers is a remarkable sight and the combined flow creates remarkable speed and power creating a world-class stretch of white water known at Cataract Canyon.
The Split Mountain section of the Green River is the BEST day trip for white water seekers. This no-nonsense stretch offers spectacular scenery, class II-III rapids and is located in heart of Dinosaur National Monument, where the giant prehistoric creatures once roamed and many remains of their presence are visibly embedded in the rocks.
No H2O round-up would be complete without a little, well actually a lot of white water action. Cataract Canyon is the crown jewel of river trips in Utah where the water is mighty and the hikes are mightier…we would expect nothing less from Canyonlands National Park, (one of Utah Mighty Five National Parks). Hike to ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings, primitive pictographs, cascading waterfalls and the surreal Dollhouse to name just a few of the sights to be seen on this adventure. Want to experience a white knuckle rapid? Don’t miss out on this class IV-V river trip, which will put a perm-a-grin on your face and wipe it off just as quickly with a full face shot of chilly water.