5 Best Places to SUP and Kayak in Bend, Oregon
One of the best things about Bend is that there are no shortages of places to stand up paddleboard (SUP) or kayak. From the pristine lakes on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway to the slow, meandering Deschutes River in downtown. The only problem is deciding which beautiful, short destination to take. There are many lakes near Bend to choose from, but here are the five best lakes (and a river) to SUP and Kayak.
The top of my list is Elk Lake Resort. Every year for my birthday, my friend and I get off work early and head out on the Cascade Lake Scenic Byway, up the curvy road past Mount Bachelor to make our way to Elk Lake. About a 45 minutes drive from Bend. No kids, no husbands, just us and the lake. What we love about Elk Lake, besides the stunning views of the snow-capped mountains, is the patio. We always start with lunch and a cocktail. I usually get the pulled pork nachos, but their Reuben’s and hamburgers are just as delicious. Then we head out on our SUP and enjoy the views.
This lake is shallow, and you can walk pretty far out. It’s great if you have kids or if it is your first time and you are worried. If you fall in, stand up, the water is shallow in this lake. Farther out, there are motorized boats. The Cultus Lake Resort has 23 rustic cabins, a general store where you can purchase anything from ice to cold beverages to fishing tackle, and a BBQ restaurant with a great view of the lake from the patio. Don’t own a SUP or kayak? Don’t worry; you can rent them at the resort.
This lake can get pretty crowded, so get there early in the day. Also, go early in the season because the water can get so low, you can’t even get your kayak out there. You can view South Sister, Broken Top, and Bachelor Butte while you are paddling through the water channels. In early summer, wildflowers sprout out from the crevices of the rocks. Want to take a break from the water? Take a short hike along the lake and through the lava terrain called Sparks Lakes Trail.
Hosmer Lake is where you go kayaking or paddleboarding if you want a peaceful setting with lots of wildlife and birds. There are also a lot of fishermen, so stay clear. You cannot have a motorized boat on the lake, so it is still very serene and lots of different channels to discover. While I was there, I saw two bald eagles just above me in the tall pine trees and an Egret standing in the marshy grass.
Paddle Board on The River
In Bend, Oregon, you can also SUP and kayak the river right in town. The Deschutes River meanders past the Old Mill (shopping) to Drake Park downtown Bend. There are two main places to put in if you want to follow the current down, River Bend Park and Farewell Bend Park. However, you could also put in at Drake Park and paddle or kayak around there.
Here is where you can rent SUP and kayaks on the river.
Love my Isle Paddle Board it is so light, I can lift it on top of my car.
I see this guy year round on his paddle board. In the winter time he wears his wet suit. You can’t see it but he is sporting a long white beard.
Yes, you can learn how to master yoga on a paddleboard. Paddleboarding has been on my bucket list for a couple of years now. For all of you ladies who want a challenge, this is right up your alley.
Where to get your 2019 Yoga SUP on
Sunriver Paddle Board Yoga in Sunriver, OR which is about a 30-45 minutes from Bend. OR
Yoga + Beer Bend retreat August 21-25 2019. Yep you guess it, SUP yoga. Already live in Bend? You can still join in, scroll down to the bottom of their website for retreat without lodging information.
SUP and Kayak Rentals
There are two locations in Bend, Oregon you can rent SUP and kayaks at before heading out of town.