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Stand-up Paddleboarding in Montana

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Stand-Up Paddleboarding SUP in Western Montana

SUP in Western Montana

Note: As of July 1, 2023, Conservation Licenses are required for everyone age 12 and older to access most state lands, including wildlife management areas, fishing access sites and wildlife habitat protection areas. This requirement does not include state parks. Please recreate responsibly. Learn more here.

Gliding across a calm mountain lake on a stand-up paddleboard has become an increasingly popular vacation watersport, especially here in Western Montana, with our numerous lakes and rivers.

Spring Seven: Western Montana’s Must-Do List

Dive into the season with our exclusive "Spring Seven" list—a treasure trove of must-do experiences that prove spring in Montana is the perfect time to visit.

Many companies offer stand-up paddleboard rentals (as well as guided options and lessons), for a unique way to explore the region. Recommended waterways include the Blackfoot, Clark Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead rivers, or paddle one of the following lakes: Swan Lake, Whitefish Lake, Flathead Lake or Lake McDonald.

First-Timers: get gear ready and learn basic techniques before you hit the water. Also, take a partner. You’ll need a board, a paddle, a PFD and a leash* plus a few skills to ensure your adventure is successful. Basics include standing up, balancing, and getting back on if you’ve fallen off, plus forward, reverse and sweep strokes. Again, local outfitters can show you the ropes.

SUP Safety - Rivers

  • Spring runoff means fast-moving rivers. (If you’re new to SUP, stick to a late-summer guided river trip or take a calm lake tour.)
  • * Wear a quick-release leash around your waist. It’s IMPERATIVE that you use quick-release technology in SUP, as ankle leashes can get hung up on rocks and other debris.
  • Wear a PFD, a helmet, a wetsuit and protective gear, especially in shallow rivers.
  • Use sunscreen and wear sunglasses.

SUP Safety – Lake Touring

  • Bring a flotation device.
  • Know the weather, and note that it can change quickly.
  • Use sunscreen and wear sunglasses.
  • If you’re new to the sport, try to confine your trip to an hour or less, and stay closer to the shore. Paddleboarding can really wear you out (in a good way, of course).
Recreate Responsibly Plan Ahead, Play it Safe, and Leave No Trace.

Featured Listings

Other Listings

Action Rentals

  • 1027 Martin Creek Road Olney, MT 59927
  • 406.881.3510
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Big Arm Boat Rentals and Rides

Bitterroot Valley Shuttle

  • Missoula Airport 5225 W. Broadway St. Missoula, MT 59808
  • 406.550.0001
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Camp Kapapa

  • 27885 Old U.S. Highway 93 Elmo, MT 59915
  • 406.214.0302
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Clark Fork Surf

  • 8575 State Highway 35, Suite 9 Bigfork, MT 59911
  • 406.212.2117
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Crazy Moose Kayak & Paddleboard Rentals

  • 511 W. Main St. Thompson Falls, MT 59873
  • 406.827.3030
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DREAM Adaptive Recreation

FLUX Adventure Designs

Lake Five Resort

  • 540 Belton Stage Road West Glacier, MT 59936
  • 406.387.5601
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Old Faithful Watersports

  • 14746 Yenne Point Road Bigfork, MT 59911
  • 406.253.2702
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Overdale Lodge

  • 1076 Overdale Lodge Road Troy, MT 59935
  • 406.295.7246
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Paddlefish Sports, LLC

  • 70 Lakeside Blvd., City Beach Whitefish, MT 59937
  • 406.260.7733
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Polebridge Mercantile, Bakery and Cabins

  • 265 Polebridge Loop Polebridge, Montana 59928
  • 406.888.5105
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Polebridge Outfitters

  • 265 Polebridge Loop Polebridge, MT 59928
  • 406.888.5105
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RiverView Ranch Retreat & Western Adventures

  • 28800 Southside Road Alberton, MT 59820
  • 406.382.9020
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Slow Drift Shuttles

Tamaracks Resort

  • 3481 State Highway 83 N., Mile Marker 17 Seeley Lake, MT 59868
  • 406.677.2433
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Whitefish Outfitters & Tours

  • 541 Spokane Ave. Whitefish, MT 59937
  • 406.212.0080
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Zoo Town Surfers

  • 1001 S. Fourth St. W., Suite 5 Missoula, MT 59801
  • 406.546.0370
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