Alaska is a stand up paddleboarding (SUP) paradise. Miles of clear water set against breathtaking northern landscapes are an excellent place for a paddling adventure. Paddleboarding in Alaska is an opportunity to see glaciers, icebergs, and fjords from up close and from an unusual angle. SUP adventures are often accompanied by sea lions, seals, sea otters, humpback whales, bears, and moose.
Local companies offer tours for all tastes: from a half-day tour to more complex routes and even helicopter aided SUP tours. Beginners can start with taking flat-water sessions where they learn the basics: instruction, equipment familiarization, proper stance for balance and control, turning techniques, and essential paddle strokes.
Lots of SUP tours depart from Seward, AK. Intermediate-level paddlers can paddle the calm waters of Bear Lake with mountain vistas. More advanced paddleboarders can float between icebergs in Aialik Bay, Bear Glacier, or Resurrection Bay.
SUP boarding is considered a warm climate sport so “walking” on cold waters in the Alaskan wilderness is an exclusive experience that not many places can offer. To make sure paddleboarders do not freeze, local tour companies provide a full-length paddling drysuit and paddle shoes and gloves.
Usually, the season starts in May and continues through mid-September, depending on a place and the weather factor.
One can rent a stand-up paddleboard at just about any beach or lake in the US, but paddleboarding along fjords in Alaska’s wilderness will definitely be an experience you won’t forget. Bear Glacier is the best place that offers glacier paddleboarding trips. Though it’s quite remote to get to, it’s by far one of the best summer adventures in the US. Take a helicopter or a boat to Bear Glacier. You’ll be able to spot whales, puffins and other animals, and of course, glide through the water past enormous icebergs and glaciers.
Head to Alaska! Here you can glide alongside icebergs and view glaciers from the comfort of your SUP. There is a whole world you’re missing if you’re not paddleboarding in Kenai Fjords National Park! Bear Glacier is the largest in the Kenai Fjords, with a 12-mile ice tongue dipping into a saltwater lagoon.
Exploring the beauty of Paddleboarding at fjords in Alaska
Kenai Lake, located in the Kenai Peninsula, is a picturesque destination for paddle boarding. With crystal-clear waters reflecting the snowy mountain peaks, this lake offers a truly immersive experience in nature’s tranquility. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced paddle boarder, Kenai Lake provides ample space to explore and enjoy the serenity of the surroundings. The calm waters and stunning vistas make it an ideal spot for capturing memorable photographs while gliding across the lake’s surface.
Lake Clark National Park: Untouched Wilderness.
Nestled in the heart of the Chigmit Mountains, Lake Clark National Park is a remote and pristine location for paddle boarding. Accessible only by boat or floatplane, this park offers untouched wilderness and a chance to experience Alaska’s natural beauty at its finest. Paddling on the glacial-fed waters of Lake Clark allows you to witness the majesty of the surrounding snow-capped peaks and the diverse wildlife that calls this place home. It’s an opportunity to disconnect from the modern world and immerse yourself in the raw magnificence of Alaska.
Safety Tips for Paddle Boarding in Alaska
While paddle boarding in Alaska offers incredible experiences, it’s important to prioritize safety. Here are some essential tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable paddle boarding adventure:
- Be prepared for cold water conditions: Dress in appropriate gear, including a wetsuit or drysuit, to protect yourself from the frigid waters.
- Use appropriate safety gear: Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and use a leash to stay connected to your paddle board.
- Check weather and water conditions: Before heading out, check the forecast and ensure that the water conditions are safe for paddle boarding.
- Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know about your paddle boarding itinerary, including the location and expected return time.
- Stay hydrated and nourished: Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep yourself energized during your paddle boarding excursion.
By following these safety tips, you can enjoy your paddle boarding adventure in Alaska while ensuring your well-being and making the most of your experience.
Alaska’s abundant lakes, glacial-fed waters, and stunning coastlines offer a paradise for paddle boarding enthusiasts. Whether you seek serene paddling, thrilling adventures, or breathtaking scenery, Alaska has it all. From the tranquil waters of Kenai Lake and Auke Lake to the glacial wonders of Bear Glacier and Endicott Arm, each location provides a unique and unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in Alaska’s natural beauty, explore remote wilderness, and connect with nature in a way that only paddle boarding can offer.
So, grab your paddle board, explore the pristine waters, and embark on an adventure that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Is paddle boarding suitable for beginners?
Yes, paddle boarding is suitable for beginners. Many locations in Alaska offer calm waters, making it easier for beginners to learn and enjoy the experience. It’s important to take a beginner-friendly approach, start in calm and shallow waters, and gradually build your skills and confidence.
Do I need my own equipment, or can I rent paddle boards?
You have options to either bring your own paddle board or rent one. Many outdoor outfitters and water sports rental companies in Alaska offer paddle board rentals. It’s advisable to check in advance and make reservations to ensure availability.
Are there guided paddle board tours available?
Yes, guided paddle board tours are available in various locations throughout Alaska. These tours provide experienced guides who can lead you to the best spots, offer instruction and safety guidance, and enhance your overall paddle boarding experience. It’s recommended to book guided tours if you’re new to paddle boarding or want a more immersive and educational experience.
What is the best time of year to go paddle boarding in Alaska?
The best time to go paddle boarding in Alaska is during the summer months, typically from May to September. This period offers milder weather, longer daylight hours, and more favorable water conditions. However, it’s essential to check local weather and water conditions before planning your trip.
Can I combine paddle boarding with other activities like fishing or hiking?
Absolutely! Alaska is renowned for its diverse outdoor activities. Many lakes and waterways that are suitable for paddle boarding also offer fishing opportunities. Additionally, hiking trails often intersect with lakes and provide opportunities to explore both on foot and on a paddle board. Combining activities allows you to make the most of your Alaskan adventure.