Best time to visit Alaska

Paddleboarding in Alaska

Get as close as possible to the grand glaciers of Alaska


Alaska is a stand up paddleboarding (SUP) paradise. Miles of clear water set against breathtaking northern landscapes are an excellent place for a paddling adventure. Paddleboarding in Alaska is an opportunity to see glaciers, icebergs, and fjords from up close and from an unusual angle. SUP adventures are often accompanied by sea lions, seals, sea otters, humpback whales, bears, and moose.

Local companies offer tours for all tastes: from a half-day tour to more complex routes and even helicopter aided SUP tours. Beginners can start with taking flat-water sessions where they learn the basics: instruction, equipment familiarization, proper stance for balance and control, turning techniques, and essential paddle strokes.

Lots of SUP tours depart from Seward, AK. Intermediate-level paddlers can paddle the calm waters of Bear Lake with mountain vistas. More advanced paddleboarders can float between icebergs in Aialik Bay, Bear Glacier, or Resurrection Bay.

SUP boarding is considered a warm climate sport so "walking" on cold waters in the Alaskan wilderness is an exclusive experience that not many places can offer. To make sure paddleboarders do not freeze, local tour companies provide a full-length paddling drysuit and paddle shoes and gloves.

Usually, the season starts in May and continues through mid-September, depending on a place and the weather factor.

Practical info

When is the best time to paddleboard in Alaska?

The ideal time to go paddleboarding in Alaska is typically from May till mid-September, depending on the location and weather condition. June and July are known to be the busiest months of summer. Paddling in Alaskan waters may require you to wear specific clothing and take necessary precautions as the water temperature can still be cold even in the middle of summer. Show more

What kind of wildlife can you see while paddleboarding in Alaska?

While paddleboarding in Alaska, you will get to see a variety of wildlife, including but not limited to sea birds, otters, harbor seals, sea lions, orcas and humpback whales. Apart from these, you may also catch a glimpse of moose, black or brown bear, and wolves. The Alaskan wilderness has a lot to offer, making paddleboarding a unique way to relish the beauty of nature. Show more

Where are some popular paddleboarding spots in Alaska?

Alaska is home to many famous paddleboarding spots, including places like Resurrection Bay, Bear Glacier, Aialik Bay, and Bear Lake. Seward is one of the most sought-after destinations for paddleboarding in Alaska, mainly due to its beautiful scenery, vast waterways, and easy access to several SUP tours. The paddleboarding trips usually commence from Seward and travel towards various locations. Show more

What kind of equipment is provided for paddleboarding in Alaska?

All local tour companies provide necessary equipment including full-length paddling drysuits, paddle shoes, and gloves and offer beginners with flat-water sessions that include training on essential paddling strokes, turning techniques, and balancing. It's crucial to come prepared with appropriate gear and clothing to accommodate the cold temperatures of Alaskan waters before embarking on your paddleboarding tour. Show more

How challenging are the paddleboarding routes in Alaska?

The difficulty level of paddleboarding routes in Alaska varies depending on the location. While some places offer calm and mild waters suitable for beginners, others have rough and fast-moving water that's only suitable for advanced paddlers. Paddleboarding in Alaska is an experience that ranges from half-day trips to multiple-day excursions, with options available for all levels of experience and fitness. For a more adventurous experience, some locations offer helicopter-aided paddleboarding tours. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin