Fill your SUP senses and soothe your soul alongside colorful, river carved canyons. It’s safe to say that paddle boarding the Colorado River should be on every paddlers bucket list.
This remarkable stretch of water twists its way through seven US states and although there are plenty of amazing sections to SUP along this impressive river, it’s the 44-mile stretch, named the Colorado River Scenic Byway, that we’re interested in here.
This section of the river allows for a unique paddling experience – high, golden orange walls stretch on either side and with the river running only 40 meters wide, in parts, you’ll feel truly immersed by the stunning surroundings.
Paddle down one of the best Sup spots in Utah
Paddle boarding the Colorado River scores top points for accessibility and ease of launch, and it is possibly one of the best places to SUP in Utah. The State route 128 highway neatly follows the Colorado River and connects the Interstate 70 with the town of Moab. As the highway winds along the river, it enables you to easily pin point an ideal launch location, based on your intended paddling duration.
The best time to try this paddle is during the spring time or in the height of fall, when you will not only experience more pleasant, manageable temperatures but capture some colourful photos along the way.
There are a few ways to paddle board the Colorado River from the town of Moab. You can hop on a shuttle bus to your chosen launch point and then easily paddle back downstream twisting and turning with the river, all the way until you reach Moab.
Or if the shuttle isn’t quite your scene, you can drive out along route 128, park up on the side of the road and paddle up stream, before floating back to your launch point. Both options are great if you have your inflatable paddle board with you, as you can easily pump up your board, hit the water and take your kit with you, while you explore.
Another great option is paddling up river directly from Moab, and slowly make your way back downstream to your vehicle, soaking up the beautiful views as you go.
No matter which launch option you choose, this entire stretch of the Colorado River makes for beautiful paddling.
- .Head north out of Moab on highway 191 for 2.6 miles
- .Turn right down Scenic Byway 128
- .At approx. 10-miles, you will come to a gravel parking lot on side of the road and a perfect launch spot
- .Put in here and paddle up stream as far as desired
- .Slowly paddle back downstream towards the initial put-in spot
Gravel parking lot on side of the road approx.10miles from Moab on the Scenic Byway 128.
There are several places to launch along the 128 Byway.
Eat, Sleep, SUP
Moab has several cool and quirky restaurants. One of our favorites is the Sunset Grill where you can enjoy a cold beer on the top of a cliff and look down the valley – a perfect spot to kickback and watch the sunset across the desert.
There are several accommodation options in the town, from camping under the stars, right up to 4-star hotels. The Lazy Lizard hostel is great option for the budget traveler, offering a cabin with air-conditioning and for a reasonable $40 USD / night.
Things to know
- Get up for sunrise! The colours in the morning are stunning and Moab can get extremely hot in the middle of the day.
- The river has slow moving water which needs to be taken into consideration. If you paddle downstream to start, getting back upstream to your put-in spot, can be very difficult. For this reason, we suggest you organize a shuttle so you can paddle downstream all the way back to Moab where your car is waiting for you.