Stand Up Paddle Boarding Near Calgary – Lakes Review – AB – BC – SASK

BARRIER LAKE is a man made reservoir at the north end of Kakanaskis Country in Alberta, Canada. If you live in NW Calgary it is just a 45 minute drive.  Highway 40 runs between the lake and Mount Baldy on the eastern shore. It is located in the Bow Valley Privincial Park. Barrier Lake was created for hydroelectric power generation on the Kananaskis River. There are two day-use areas, Barrier Dam and Barrier Lake. Barrier Lake has a boat launch, picnic tables and porta potties. You can rent a kayak or Stand up paddle board from Kananaskis Outfitters .

If you park on the dam side be prepared to walk for a while to reach the water. Some websites say the beaches have sand but when I started sinking I realized it was mud. I checked out Barrier Lake side and it was the same. Water shoes instead of flip flops would have been a better choice.

The lake is long enough and you’ll get a good exercise. There was no wind when I started  however few hours later when I started paddling back to shore (towards Dam) I was fighting gusty winds. At times the wind was pushing me back to Barrier side so I had to kneel down and it was a workout! There are warning signs but only on the Barrier side of the lake. It was my first time here and it sure was a lesson. Be aware this can happen on any mountain lake. Also wear a life jacket or at least have one with you. The lake waters are glacier fed and extremely cold.
Click here to check the forecast and wind
Lat/Long: 51.048242  -115.022851
SUP Rental : Yes

JOHNSON LAKE, Alberta, Canada is a popular recreation and beach destination located east of Banff . Surface elevation: 1,426 m Area: 20 ha Width: 200 Length: 1.1 km

Great little lake with easy access and short walk to water. This lake includes a day use area with a sandy beach, a canoe launch, picnic tables, sitting benches, grass lawns, swimming area, life guards and an interpretive walking trail. There is plenty of parking but on hot days it does get busy. The beauty of paddle boarding is that you are on the lake and it never gets too busy.
When you paddle to the middle of the lake you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the Cascade mountain. The whole lake is sheltered and not too long so even if it gets windy it wouldn’t be too bad to paddle back. There is a pathway around the whole lake so worse come to worse you can get out at any point (there may be a hike up the hill) deflate your board and walk back to the parking lot.
Click here to check the forecast and winds
Lat/Long: 51.1688158018 -115.69759725
SUP Rental: No

FORGET ME NOT POND, near Elbow Falls, Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada. The pond is located near the entrance to Little Elbow Recreation Area and offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Kananaskis Country.  The small, emerald pond is fed by the Elbow River and this outlet returns overflow back to the Elbow River. Picnic tables, Fire pits, Pit/Vault Toilets/ there will be a rush of people vying for tables and parking places for their family outing. It is too small for a good paddle but very picturesque and relaxing. There is plenty of room to inflate your board either in the parking lot or shore. It’s a short walk to the lake.
Click here to check forecast and winds
Lat/Long: 50.797769  -114.850031
SUP Rental: No

LAKE LILLIAN, Invermere, British Columbia, Canada is located just outside of Invermere on the Toby Creek Road that goes up to the Panorama Mountain Resort. Nestled at the base of a mountain, where the Purcell Range meets up with the Rockies, the little lake is well protected from the wind. There’s clear signage on the highway, announcing a public park, which offers a small boat launch and a parking lot for easy access.
This is a day use area, no camping, great access to water, few picnic tables, porta potties, not a lot of parking space, excellent for paddle boarding, swimming, kayaking. You won’t get a lot of workout as this is a small lake but you’ll rewarded with beautiful views and fresh pine air. The water is warmer than most mountain lakes in Alberta, calm and sheltered. You only have to carry your paddle board or kayak for a few meters.
Click here to check the forecast and winds
Lat/Long: 50.500000 -116.099998
SUP Rental: Yes in Invermere

WINDERMERE LAKE is a popular recreation lake in the Columbia Valley region of British Columbia, Canada. Located in the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia with the Purcell Mountain Range to the west and the Rockies to the east. At 17.7 km in length (almost 11 mi.), it is one of the largest lakes and also one of the warmest in the Kootenay region and one with breathtaking views on every hand. It is approximately a 3 hour drive from Calgary.
Kinsmen Beach is close to all amenities. You will appreciate the grove of trees just above the sand that provides shade. Easy access to water with sandy beach and grass.
Day-use area just north of the town of Windermere, at James Chabot Provincial Park has a boat launch, sandy beach, picnic tables, water and pit toilets. There are several rental SUPs, kayaks and jet-ski shops in Invermere.
Expect to see lots of powerboats and jet skis on the water creating waves and making it much harder to stand on your board. I find Lake Windermere windy as well. Easy access to water and few steps from parking lot.
Click here to check the forecast and winds
Lat/Long: 50.479752 -115.9902976
SUP Rental: Yes in Invermere

WHITESWAN LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK is located within the Kootenay Ranges of the Rocky Mountains, 22km southeast of the Village of Canal Flats. Access is from Highway 93/95, turn east 4.5 kilometers south of Canal Flats onto the gravel Whiteswan Forest Service Road. It’s about 25 km from the highway.

There are 4 boat launches – Home Basin and Packrat Point which are concrete; Alces and Inlet Creek which are gravel. Pit toilets are located centrally in each campground; Home Basin (37 campsites) is located at the northwestern corner of Whiteswan Lake accessed by the Moscow Creek Forest Road and offers some lakefront campsites. Be prepared weather can change rapidly and high winds can come up quickly. There is no public phone or cell phone service at Whiteswan Park. Very remote and not too busy. I was camping right on the lakefront.
Click here to check the forecast and winds
Lat/Long: 50.1397 -115.4833  Altitude: 1137 m
SUP Rental: No

CYPRESS HILLS INTER-PROVINCAIL PARK – Saskatchewan, is a unique patch in the colorful quilt of outdoor experience. I paddled on the Saskatchewan side (8 hour drive from Calgary) – Loch Leven a quaint small lake that is idyllic. The main beach has a designated swimming area and is located near the boat rentals and beach volleyball court. The lake is stocked with trout, and motorboats with engines up to 5 hp are allowed. Easy access to water on the far end with a parking lot just a few meters from the lake and boat launch.
A stroll around the lake might take an hour if you stop for a few minutes to admire the work of the artists, who frequently station their easels at the north end of the serene, oblong lake. There is a restaurant, coffee/ice cream shop, an outdoor swimming pool and $10 entrance fee.
Click here to check the forecast and winds
Lat/Long: 49.663714, -109.499807
SUP Rental: Yes

TWO JACK LAKE is located just outside the town of Banff on Lake Minnewanka Loop
Road, 12 km from town.  There are 2 parking areas – upper and lower. If you want to park on the lower one which is right by the lake you may have to arrive early to find a spot. There is a drive up put in where you can unload all equipment and launch your board into the shallow waters. Two Jack offers a day use area with picnic tables and 2 red chairs – #ShareTheChair – on a peninsula and makes this an ideal spot to SUP and have a lunch or enjoy an afternoon of gentle rapids and brilliant views. Be aware of wind gusts. Access to Lake Minnewanka is not possible via Two Jack lake.

Lake Minnewanka may be a great place to paddle, however wind and big waves make it much more dangerous than the smaller Two Jack and Johnson Lakes.

Click here to check the forecast and winds
Lat/Long: 51.2286 -115.4947  Altitude: 1475 m
SUP rental: Yes in Banff

SURVEYOR’S LAKE  is a 30 minute drive south of Fernie, BC in Kikomun Creek Provincial Park —  What a gem! It’s a very popular lake due to its small size, warm water and the fact that motorized craft is not allowed. You can get a great paddle to the lake’s small inlets in search of the endangered Western Painted turtles that like to sun themselves on fallen logs. Easy access to water, short walk from the parking lot. Day use area is offered on both beaches and there is a dock. It is a  well-maintained BC Park that also houses a large campground for tenting and RV’s. Cold water taps are located throughout the park as well as pit and flush toilets. Lake is sheltered and surrounded by Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine. If you like to explore, see lots of fish and turtles and have a quiet paddle than you’ll love Surveyor’s.

Click here to check the forecast and winds
Lat/Long:  49.2456 -115.2356 Altitude: 779 m
SUP rental: Yes

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