5 Places to Go Paddleboarding Near Keystone

Keystone's high elevation makes its rivers and lakes the perfect paddleboarding destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a thrilling adventure.
Posted June 12, 2023
Exterior of Lakeside Village Area at Keystone

Nestled amidst the breathtaking Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Keystone is a captivating paddling destination. The pristine alpine lakes, winding rivers, dense forests, and fabulous vistas make paddleboarding in Keystone, CO an unforgettable adventure. 

Whether you're savoring the safety of the Lakeside Village, gliding across the calm waters of the Dillon Reservoir, discovering hidden gems of Green Mountain Reservoir, or testing your mettle on the Blue River, the mountainous region caters to every paddling pleasure.  

Take to the Water at the Serene Lakeside Village 

Set at the heart of the Keystone Resort, the Lakeside Village is among the best places to stand-up paddle in Colorado. The village fronts Keystone Lake, a reservoir spanning 5 acres that provides a tranquil paddleboarding experience. 

The lake's small size, location, and calm waters provide a fun, safe, and controlled space to learn paddleboarding. You can sign up for lessons and practice along the secluded shores away from the crowds. Seasoned paddlers can enjoy the thrill of a high-speed paddle around the lake. 

Visiting the Lakeside Village lets you sample Keystone Resort’s world-class amenities. The Adventure Center offers half-hourly and hourly paddleboard rentals, including safety vests and leashes. 

Plus, on top of paddle boarding, there are lots of other ways to enjoy the water. Lakeside Village also has paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes available for rent. You can make a full day out of your lakeside adventure, with a meal at one of the several onsite restaurants, including the Bighorn Bistro & Bar, for family-friendly meals. Plus, you can enjoy the indoor arcade or free yard games, including giant checkers, Jenga, and cornhole.  

The Lakeside Village is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Although walk-ins are welcome, you should reserve your spot for the best experience.  

Learn Paddleboarding at the Peaceful Lake Dillon Marina  

Taunted as the best place to stand up paddle in Colorado, Lake Dillon spans over 3,300 acres and is a treasure trove of hidden coves and secluded beaches. The Lake Dillon Marina lets you explore the expansive deep blue waters and enjoy a tranquil paddling experience. 

The marina's central location makes it a great launching point for your SUP adventure. You can explore its 26 miles long shoreline or the numerous islands dotting the middle.  

Gliding across the calm waters, you're treated to panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, dense forests, and colored wildflowers dotting the shorelines.  

Beginners will appreciate the gentle waters along the shore, while seasoned paddles can venture deeper into the reservoir to explore its nooks and crannies. The area is a haven for wildlife, so watch for bald eagles, herons, ospreys, and the occasional deer on the shoreline.  

While the lake has multiple entry points, the Dillon Marina has designated launch areas granting convenient water access. Stand Up Paddle Colorado offers paddleboard rental services right at the marina, and beginners can sign up for lessons and start their paddleboarding adventures on the right note.  

After paddle boarding on Lake Dillon, you can use the marina's facilities, including picnic areas, restrooms, and showers, or enjoy a restaurant meal. The Marina opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 4:30 p.m.  

Rent Paddleboard Gear for an Idyllic Experience at the Frisco Bay  

Perched on the eastern shores of Lake Dillon, the Frisco Bay Marina caters to paddlers who cherish serenity when paddle boarding on Dillon Reservoir. The boat traffic at Frisco Bay is relatively lower, creating a serene atmosphere ideal for relaxation, meditation, or connecting with nature.  

You're treated to breathtaking views as you glide across Frisco Bay. The Rockies create a stunning backdrop, and the calm blue waters reflect the beauty of the natural surroundings. 

The marina provides paddleboard rentals, and the knowledgeable staff will help you select the right paddleboard and gear. There's a two-hour minimum, and you must call the marina directly if you want to rent longer. 

Amenities at the Frisco Bay Marina include paid parking, restrooms, and picnic areas. You can grab a bite at the nearby restaurants or browse for souvenirs at the shops. The Marina opens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Explore Green Mountain Reservoir on Your Own 

Located 30 miles north of Keystone, the Green Mountain Reservoir caters to paddling enthusiasts who crave a serene experience. The pristine waters, rugged cliffs, dense forests, and beautiful mountain vistas create a remarkable backdrop.   

The 2,125-acre reservoir provides ample space to explore and discover hidden gems. Minimal boat traffic, lack of crowds, and the untouched wilderness add to its unique appeal. Beginners can paddle along the shorelines and discover the hidden inlets, while seasoned pros can venture to the center and enjoy the solitude.  

You can access the Blue Green Mountain reservoir from one of the seven camping grounds or the Heeney Marina. The reservoir offers boat-launch facilities and requires all motorized and non-motorized boats, including paddleboards, to launch from designated sites. 

Available amenities at the Heeney Marina include lodging, shops, restaurants, and boat rentals. You may need to bring your own board as the marina mainly offers fishing boats and pontoons. The marina operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

Sign Up for Guided Tours on the Fast Flowing Blue River  

With its fast-flowing currents, sharp bends, and rapids, the Blue River turns paddleboarding into a high-octane sport for outdoor enthusiasts craving a thrill.   

The river meanders through picturesque valleys, dense forests, and open meadows, creating a stunning backdrop as you navigate the waters. The flowing water and the vibrant colors of the surrounding vegetation make for a sensory experience. 

The lower sections of the Blue River, after the Green Mountain Reservoir, offer the best paddling experience. The scenic area, characterized by Class II and III rapids, will test your paddling skills. Such rapids are moderately challenging to navigate, have irregular waves, and pass between large boulders.  

The water conditions on the Blue River vary depending on the season and precipitation. During periods of lower water flow, the river is calmer and more accessible, but the fast currents during high water flow require exceptional skills. 

Ideally, you should sign up for a guided tour from a local service such as Stand Up Paddle Colorado when planning a paddling trip on the Blue River. They'll provide the right gear and tailor the outing to suit your abilities.   

Make the Most of Your Paddling Vacation  

The calm alpine waters, spectacular vistas, and snow-capped mountains make Keystone a mecca for stand-up paddling enthusiasts. It's the perfect outdoor destination for a family paddleboarding vacation.  

Booking a stay at the Keystone Resort lets you plan the paddling trip of a lifetime. You can wake up refreshed to sweeping mountain views and take a short trip to the next paddling destination on your list.  

Learn about Summer Activities at Keystone Resort.