The Wildlife Paddle Boarding Guide to Wyoming!
Wyoming, the heart of the American West, is home to pristine lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. The unique perspective of paddle boarding introduces adventurers to some of the most breathtaking views and unforgettable wildlife encounters. This article highlights twenty top destinations in Wyoming, providing a unique perspective on wildlife from your paddleboard.
Jackson Lake (Spring to Fall)
Nestled in the heart of Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Lake offers a serene setting for paddle boarding amidst stunning mountain vistas. The lake is teeming with wildlife, and as you glide across its pristine waters, keep your eyes peeled for moose browsing along the shoreline. These magnificent creatures are often seen wading through the shallows, their antlers reflected in the calm waters. Ospreys and bald eagles soar above, their keen eyes searching for fish. Late spring and early summer are ideal times to visit Jackson Lake, as wildlife activity peaks during this period.
Yellowstone Lake (Spring)
Located within the renowned Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Lake is the largest high-elevation lake in North America and a haven for paddle boarders seeking an unparalleled wildlife experience. As you navigate its crystal-clear waters, marvel at the sight of otters frolicking nearby. These playful creatures are known for their aquatic acrobatics and often surface with a fish in their paws. Along the lake's shoreline, bison can be spotted grazing, their massive forms creating a stark contrast against the backdrop of the surrounding wilderness. The best time to view wildlife at Yellowstone Lake is during the summer months when many species are active.
Snake River (Late Spring to Early Fall)
The mighty Snake River carves its way through the rugged landscapes of Wyoming, offering both thrilling rapids and peaceful stretches for paddle boarding. This iconic waterway is home to a rich diversity of wildlife. Look to the skies to witness the mesmerizing flight of the American bald eagle, soaring high above the river. On the riverbanks, keep an eye out for river otters darting in and out of the water, while mule deer and elk graze in the meadows. The best time to paddle board on the Snake River for wildlife viewing is in the early morning or evening when animals are more active.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir (Late Spring)
Situated in southwestern Wyoming, Flaming Gorge Reservoir is renowned for its striking red cliffs and pristine waters. This expansive reservoir provides ample opportunities for paddle boarders to spot a variety of wildlife. Watch in awe as majestic bighorn sheep nimbly navigate the steep canyon walls. The reservoir is also home to an abundance of trout, attracting diving ospreys that plunge into the water to catch their next meal. For the best wildlife viewing, plan your paddle board excursion in the spring or fall when the reservoir is less crowded and animals are more visible.
Wind River (Spring to Fall)
The Wind River is a hidden gem tucked away in central Wyoming, offering a tranquil paddle boarding experience amidst breathtaking scenery. As you traverse its gentle currents, keep an eye out for black bears foraging along the riverbanks. These magnificent creatures often seek out berries and other vegetation during the summer months. Along with bears, the Wind River is a sanctuary for various bird species, including colorful songbirds and the occasional golden eagle soaring overhead. For the best wildlife encounters, plan your paddle boarding adventure during the early morning or late afternoon.
Shoshone Lake (Spring to Fall)
Nestled within the majestic Yellowstone National Park, Shoshone Lake is a pristine oasis that beckons paddle boarders seeking solitude and wildlife encounters. This expansive lake is home to a diverse range of wildlife, both in and out of the water. While gliding across the calm surface, be on the lookout for moose wading in the shallows and grizzly bears foraging along the shoreline. The lake is also teeming with fish, attracting diving ospreys and bald eagles. Late spring and early summer are the optimal seasons for wildlife viewing at Shoshone Lake, as many animals venture out to enjoy the temperate weather.
Boysen Reservoir (Spring to Fall)
Boysen Reservoir, located in central Wyoming, offers paddle boarders a captivating blend of scenic beauty and wildlife sightings. This sprawling reservoir provides a habitat for a wide variety of bird species, including great blue herons and double-crested cormorants. The calm waters also attract mule deer and pronghorn antelope, which come to drink from its shores. As you navigate Boysen Reservoir, take in the picturesque views of the Absaroka Mountains, and be sure to visit during the spring and fall when wildlife activity is at its peak.
Fontenelle Reservoir (Spring to Fall)
Tucked away in the scenic Green River Valley, Fontenelle Reservoir offers paddle boarders a tranquil haven for wildlife observation. The reservoir's shoreline is dotted with lush wetlands, providing a perfect habitat for a variety of waterfowl species. As you paddle along, you may encounter graceful sandhill cranes, elegant great blue herons, and the occasional trumpeter swan. Keep an eye on the skies for the impressive aerial displays of American white pelicans as they glide gracefully overhead. The best time to visit Fontenelle Reservoir for wildlife viewing is during the spring and fall migration seasons.
Pathfinder Reservoir (Spring to Fall)
Pathfinder Reservoir, nestled amidst rolling hills in central Wyoming, is a hidden gem for paddle boarders seeking to commune with nature and encounter wildlife. The reservoir attracts a multitude of bird species, including western grebes and American avocets, which can be seen gliding gracefully across the water's surface. Along the shoreline, white-tailed deer and pronghorn antelope are often spotted grazing. For an unforgettable wildlife experience, plan your paddle board excursion in the early morning or late evening when animals are most active.
Glendo Reservoir (Late Autumn)
Enveloped by the picturesque landscapes of the Glendo State Park, Glendo Reservoir offers a serene setting for paddle boarding and wildlife viewing. This expansive reservoir is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with a diverse range of species including great horned owls, blue jays, and red-winged blackbirds. The surrounding grasslands attract pronghorn antelope and white-tailed deer, which can often be seen foraging in the early morning or evening. To witness the reservoir's wildlife at its peak, visit during the spring and summer months.
Keyhole Reservoir (Spring to Fall)
Keyhole Reservoir, located in northeastern Wyoming, is a hidden gem for wildlife enthusiasts seeking a paddle boarding adventure. Surrounded by rolling hills and rugged canyons, this reservoir is home to a variety of wildlife species. Keep your eyes peeled for wild turkeys darting through the underbrush and mule deer browsing on the lakeshore. As you paddle along the reservoir's calm waters, you may also spot great blue herons and American white pelicans fishing for their next meal. For optimal wildlife viewing, plan your visit during the spring or fall when bird migration is at its peak.
Seminole Reservoir (Spring to Fall)
Nestled amidst the high plains of southeastern Wyoming, Seminole Reservoir offers a unique paddle boarding experience with ample wildlife viewing opportunities. The reservoir's open waters attract a variety of waterfowl, including mallards, pintails, and Canada geese, which can be observed paddling gracefully in search of food. Along the reservoir's banks, coyotes and red foxes can often be spotted searching for small mammals. For the best wildlife sightings, visit Seminole Reservoir during the early morning or late afternoon hours when animals are most active
Green River Lakes (Summer)
Nestled in the majestic Wind River Range, Green River Lakes is a true wilderness paradise for paddle boarders seeking unspoiled natural beauty and abundant wildlife. As you paddle across the clear turquoise waters, you may encounter a moose or two wading in the shallows or foraging along the shoreline. Bald eagles and ospreys are a common sight, as they soar overhead in search of fish. The best time to visit Green River Lakes for wildlife viewing is during the summer months when the area is teeming with activity..
Leigh Lake (Summer)
Located within the stunning Grand Teton National Park, Leigh Lake offers paddle boarders a chance to immerse themselves in the grandeur of the Teton Mountain Range while observing captivating wildlife. As you glide across the lake's tranquil waters, be prepared to encounter a range of wildlife, including black bears and mule deer. The lake is also frequented by a variety of bird species, such as western tanagers and mountain bluebirds. For the best wildlife viewing experience, plan your visit during the early morning or late evening hours..
Alcova Reservoir (Spring to Fall)
Alcova Reservoir, situated in central Wyoming, provides paddle boarders with a picturesque setting for wildlife viewing. This expansive reservoir is home to a thriving population of waterfowl, including American white pelicans and common loons. Bald eagles can be seen perched on snags along the shoreline, while mule deer graze in the surrounding grasslands. For optimal wildlife encounters, visit Alcova Reservoir during the spring or fall when bird migration is in full swing.
Greybull River (Spring to Fall)
The Greybull River, located in northern Wyoming, offers paddle boarders a unique opportunity to explore its pristine waters while observing an array of wildlife. As you navigate the river's gentle currents, keep an eye out for moose browsing along the riverbanks. The river is also home to a variety of trout species, attracting ospreys that dive from the sky to catch their next meal. For the best wildlife viewing experience, plan your paddle board excursion during the early morning or late evening when animals are most active.
Lewis Lake (Spring to Fall)
Nestled within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, Lewis Lake is a tranquil oasis that beckons paddle boarders with its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife. Glide across the lake's mirrored surface and be prepared to encounter a variety of wildlife, including river otters and beavers. Look to the skies for the impressive flight of bald eagles and ospreys, and keep an eye on the shoreline for moose and black bears. The best time to visit Lewis Lake for wildlife viewing is during the summer months when animals are most active..
Tongue River (Spring to Fall)
Flowing through the picturesque Bighorn Mountains, the Tongue River offers paddle boarders a serene and scenic experience. While paddling along its meandering course, you may spot white-tailed deer and elk coming to drink from the river's edge. The river is also home to a variety of bird species, such as belted kingfishers and great blue herons, which can be seen fishing for their next meal. For the best wildlife sightings, plan your paddle board excursion in the early morning or late evening when animals are most active.
Bighorn Lake (Spring to Fall)
Bighorn Lake, nestled in the breathtaking Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, is a hidden gem for paddle boarders seeking both natural beauty and wildlife encounters. While traversing the lake's calm waters, keep a lookout for bighorn sheep perched on the rugged cliffs that flank the reservoir. Bald eagles and golden eagles are also common sights, as they soar above the lake in search of fish. For the best wildlife viewing experience, visit Bighorn Lake in the spring or fall when animals are most active.
Fremont Lake (Summer)
Situated in the Wind River Range, Fremont Lake is Wyoming's second-largest natural lake and a paradise for paddle boarders seeking awe-inspiring scenery and wildlife encounters. As you paddle across the lake's crystal-clear waters, be prepared to spot mule deer and elk foraging along the shoreline. The lake is also home to a variety of bird species, including common mergansers and American dippers. For the best wildlife viewing, plan your visit to Fremont Lake during the summer months when animals are most active.
Wyoming's lakes, reservoirs, and rivers offer paddle boarders a unique and immersive wildlife viewing experience. From the majestic moose and black bears to soaring bald eagles and diving ospreys, the state's waterways are teeming with diverse and captivating wildlife. By exploring locations such as Jackson Lake, Yellowstone Lake, Snake River, and the many other picturesque destinations mentioned in this article, nature enthusiasts can witness firsthand the beauty of Wyoming's wildlife in their natural habitats. Whether it's observing moose browsing along the shoreline, marveling at the aerial acrobatics of ospreys, or encountering bighorn sheep perched on rugged cliffs, paddle boarding in Wyoming offers an unforgettable opportunity to connect with nature and create memories that will last a lifetime. We hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of some of the best places to view wildlife from a sup in Wyoming!
Here are a few quick links to help you keep going, don't forget to check our blog out for more tips and expert advice. For wildlife tips check out our blog and this article on Beginners Guide To Bird Watching. And don't forget to read our article on Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Wildlife Encounters. For a complete guide of where to paddle board in every state, this one is for you! The best places to paddle board in the United States a state by state tour of where to paddle board with Glide Paddle Boards. Or perhaps something international is what you are looking for, then these two articles will help out. Check out the ultimate guide on finding places to paddle board near you for tips and tricks on finding new and exciting places near you! And for international spots Epic Spots Globally To Paddle Board is for you! And check out the Glide O2 Angler and why it makes an incredible platform for birding and wildlife viewing.