6 Best Spots to Paddle Board in Canyon Lake, Arizona

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Canyon Lake paddle boarding is a well known adventure activity that you don’t want to miss.

Nestled about 50 miles east of Phoenix, Canyon Lake is a spot that’s both accessible and really beautiful. With its deep blue waters, rugged cliffs, and lots of diverse wildlife, this lake offers more than just a day on the water.

That’s why in this article I want to explore 8 different spots that you can experience on a SUP. I’ll be going through beginner-friendly and more advanced locations so that there is something for everyone.

Let’s get into it.🏄‍♂️

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Why Is Canyon Lake Paddle Boarding So Special?

There are a few reasons why this is an amazing location to SUP. First off – the water here is calm and it’s not really cold, making it perfect for paddle boarders of all skill levels that are happy to cool off.

Not to mention – the wilderness that you can experience, creates an incredible backdrop for your adventure. There are these big and rugged cliffs which makes you feel really small compared to nature. It’s a really humbling and peaceful time out on the water.

Here are a few more reasons you should care:

Peaceful and Quiet:In many locations, it’s just you, your paddle board, and nature. It’s the perfect spot to clear your head or escape from the noisy hustle and bustle of city life.
Wildlife Spotting:While you’re paddling, keep an eye out for birds overhead and maybe even some fish swimming below. It’s like getting a slice of wilderness without going too far from home.
Great Workout:Paddle boarding can be a chill way to move your body, but it also gives your core a solid workout. Plus, balancing and paddling is great for building strength and endurance.
Social or Solo:You can make it a fun day with friends or enjoy some me-time on the water. Either way, it’s a win.

Now that you know the benefits – let’s get into the locations that I recommend you explore when paddle boarding on Canyon Lake.

Here is an interactive map that you can use to get an overview of the different locations, then read the summaries for more information below when you pick one.

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Location #1: Boulder Canyon Cove

Boulder Canyon Cove is like your peaceful morning coffee spot – quiet, relaxed, and just right for easing into a paddle boarding session. The water is calm, which is great for beginners or anyone looking to have a relaxed day out. You’ll likely catch sight of some waterfowl dipping in and out of the lake, which is really nice to experience.

canyon lake paddle boarding

Other Details:

There’s convenient parking nearby, and while there aren’t any restaurants right at the cove, the relaxed atmosphere makes up for it. It’s more about packing a good lunch and enjoying the sounds of nature here.

Location: Google Maps

Location #2: The Point

Paddling out to The Point, you’re in for a treat with some of the best views of Canyon Lake. It’s a bit more exposed, so you’ll feel a slight breeze when you’re out on the water, but it’s very manageable. It’s perfect for those who love a good photo op or want to spend time in a really pretty spot.

canyon lake paddle boarding

Other Details:

There’s easy parking, basic toilet facilities, and while dining options aren’t right next to the water, a short drive will get you to some cosy local restaurants. Plus, the area is great for a bit of hiking if you want to stretch your legs after paddling.

Location: Google Maps

Location #3: Painted Cliffs

The Painted Cliffs are not just about paddle boarding; they’re absolutely incredible to look at! The mineral-rich cliffs reflect beautifully on the clear lake water, creating all these stunning patterns and reflection. It’s a bit of a journey to get here, but totally worth it for the ‘wow’ factor (and the photos)

Painted cliffs in Canyon Lake, Arizona

Other Details:

Parking is straightforward, but amenities like toilets and restaurants are a bit sparse, so plan accordingly for this. It’s best suited for those looking to escape the crowds and be a part of nature.

Location: Google Maps

Location #4: Saguaro Del Norte Recreation Area

Saguaro Del Norte Recreation Area is super accessible and family-friendly. You’ll find all the conveniences here—ample parking, clean toilets, and a variety of places to eat close by. This spot is excellent for paddle boarders who might want to combine their day on the water with some other activities like fishing or just chilling at a picnic table. It’s very social and great for meeting other paddlers.

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canyon lake paddle boarding

Other Details:

This spot has lots of parking, clean toilers and there are many places to eat nearby. It’s convenient to get to and a nice spot to sup. I really like it here and it’s definitely one of the top spots to include on your paddle boarding Canyon Lake itinerary.

Location: Google Maps

Location #5: Acacia Picnic Site

The Acacia Picnic Site offers a blend of relaxation and scenery. It’s on the quieter side, perfect for those looking to unwind and enjoy a leisurely paddle. You can see the cliffs from a distance and the gentle waters make for a pleasant paddle.

Other Details:

There’s good parking, picnic tables, and toilet facilities right on-site. While there aren’t any restaurants in immediate walking distance, the picnic vibe encourages you to bring your own spread.

Location: Google Maps

Location #6: Mormon Flat Dam

Near Mormon Flat Dam, the waters can get a bit lively, which makes for an exciting paddle boarding experience. You’re likely to see a mix of paddlers and other small watercraft, making it a really nice spot to see. The views here are expansive, and the dam itself is amazing to see, so this is well worth checking out when paddle boarding Canyon Lake.

Other Details:

Facilities including parking and toilets are available, but it’s more about the adventure here, so pack snacks in your cooler and enjoy the ride.

Location: Google Maps

Should You Buy Or Rent A Paddle Board?

When you’re trying to figure out if you should buy or rent a sup, it really boils down to how into paddleboarding you are and how often you see yourself hitting the water.

If you’re really into it and plan to paddleboard regularly, whether for fun, staying fit, or hanging out with buddies, then purchasing your own board makes sense. When you own a SUP, you get to pick the perfect one that fits what you like and what you need.

If you’re looking to buy a paddleboard then here are some of my recommendations:
8 Of The Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards For People On A Budget

However, if you’re just giving paddleboarding a shot, maybe while on holiday, and you’re not sure if you’ll stick with it long-term, renting is the way to go. Renting lets you test the waters without having to commit to buying a board right away.

Also, think about how you’ll get the board from point A to point B, especially if you’re traveling far or flying. Carrying a SUP on a plane can be tough and pricey.

Here’s what you need to know about transporting a SUP:
The Best Paddleboard Rack To Store & Transport Your SUPs

Where To Find Canyon Lake Paddle Board Rentals

*IMPORTANT* Make sure you read this article before you rent a paddleboard:
11 Essential Items To Buy BEFORE You Get A Paddleboard Rental

So let’s talk about some good places to rent a paddle board in Canyon Lake, Arizona.

Yak ‘n Sup

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One of the best known spots to rent is Yak ‘n Sup which is an interesting play on words of ‘Kayak’ and ‘SUP’ which is what you can rent from them. They have nice paddle boards and they are well known for doing some interesting tours. You can do full moon paddles, guided tours and even sunset paddles with a guide. They are friendly and well worth renting from.

Price: $35 for 2 hours
Address: 16802 AZ-88, Apache Junction, AZ 85119, United States
DirectionsGoogle Maps
Contact Number: +1 480-420-8144

Canyon Paddle Co

Canyon Paddle Co is also a pretty popular place to rent and they also do guided tours etc. They are nice and friendly and also have great gear so if you’re close by then you can rent here also.

Price: $35 for 2 hours
Address: 1035 N Ellsworth Rd #107, Mesa, AZ 85207
DirectionsGoogle Maps
Contact Number: +1 480-690-3222

Should you rent a kayak or paddleboard? Here are the pro’s and cons of each…
Kayak vs Paddleboard: Which Wins And Why?

Safety Tips For Canyon Lake Paddle Boarding

Let’s dive into some essential safety tips to keep in mind while you’re out on a SUP adventure in Canyon Lake.

First thing’s first…

Check the Weather

Here is an interactive weather widget that will tell you exactly what you’re looking for:


Remember, this is Arizona, and it can get super hot. Make sure to look up the weather before you head out and come prepared for the heat.

A lot of folks ask about what they should wear when paddleboarding, so here’s the scoop:

Wear the Right Safety Gear

It’s crucial to wear your safety gear, especially if you’re out in the ocean. This means having a life jacket and a leash on at all times. With these, you can relax and enjoy your time on the water without any stress.

Recommendation: Onyx M-16 Belt Life Jacket

Where To Buy: Amazon

Key Features:
– Style: Belt
– Weight: 7.2 ounces
– USGC Rating: Type V

Here are the best accessories that keep you safe and make your experience fun:
The 23 Best Paddleboard Accessories That You Need In 2024


And there you have it—a complete guide to making the most out of your paddle boarding adventure at Canyon Lake. Whether you decide to buy your own board or rent one, you’re all set to explore some of the best paddle boarding spots Arizona has to offer. Each location around Canyon Lake has its unique charm and set of activities, ensuring that every visit can be a new experience. Remember to stay safe, check the weather, gear up properly, and most importantly, have fun on the water.

Looking for insider guides to some amazing paddle boarding locations?
Check the Paddleboard Insiders Location Guides

Canyon Lake Paddle Boarding FAQs

What is the best time of year to paddle board at Canyon Lake?

The ideal times for paddle boarding at Canyon Lake are during spring and fall. These seasons offer cooler, more comfortable weather and fewer tourists, making the lake less crowded and more enjoyable for paddling.

Are there paddle board rentals available at Canyon Lake?

Yes, Canyon Lake has several paddle board rental services. They offer a variety of boards and additional equipment like life jackets. Some places even provide quick lessons to help beginners get started right on the shore.

What should I do if I encounter wildlife while paddle boarding?

If you see wildlife while on the water, keep a safe distance to avoid disturbing them. It’s best to enjoy the view quietly and continue paddling gently.

Can beginners paddle board at Canyon Lake?

Absolutely! Canyon Lake is perfect for beginners, thanks to its calmer coves and inlets which provide a safe environment for learning and gentle paddling.

Are there group paddle board events I can join at Canyon Lake?

Yes, group events and meetups for paddle boarding are common at Canyon Lake. Check local community boards or ask at paddle shops for upcoming activities, which are great for both learning and socializing.

canyon lake paddle boarding
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Jason Watson

My initial goal was to document my paddleboarding experiences with friends and family, but that has evolved into a commitment to share this sport with as many people as possible because of the health benefits & peace of mind it has given me. This sport is not only a great way to see the world, but it also helps us come closer to ourselves. Information gives us strength!

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