Stand-up paddleboarding makes waves on Aspen’s mellow rivers and lakes.
SUPper time: On the serene Stillwater section of the Roaring Fork River, stand-up paddlers indulge in Aspen’s new must-do outdoors summer activity.
Aspen is well known for its adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities—skiing, rock climbing, summiting 14,000-foot peaks—but not all those who travel here seek the same level of extreme adventure. Some search out more meandering activities and trails, preferring to casually soak in the sun’s rays and admire the Rocky Mountain vistas under classic Colorado bluebird skies. In recent years, stand-up paddleboarding has emerged as the easy summer activity of choice.
Located just a few miles east of Aspen towards Independence Pass, Stillwater is by far the most popular paddleboarding route near town. SUPers (as they’re known) paddle down the placid waters of the Roaring Fork River, from the Wildwood School to the lower end of the North Star Nature Preserve, exiting at Rainbow Bridge near the Aspen Club. Depending on the time of year, the float can take between two and four hours; along the way paddlers meet kayakers, canoers, and more raucous river revelers floating Stillwater on tubes with mesh bags of beer in tow.
Other popular SUP locations include Twin Lakes on the other side of Independence Pass, Ruedi Reservoir near Basalt, and the more advanced Colorado River down-valley near Carbondale.
Aspen Bike Tours and Rentals can outfit you with the necessary gear—just a board and a paddle—and direct you to the proper put-in. Aspen Bike Tours and Rentals, 430 S. Spring St., 970-925-9169
Photography by: Photography by C2 Photography