Stand up paddling, also known as SUPing, is one of the fastest growing sports and is taking off in all corners of the world. It’s not only a fun way to play on the water for all ages but also provides a good workout. There are so many options from flat water cruising on Trillium, Lost and Timothy Lakes near Mt. Hood to paddling whitewater and waves on the White Salmon and Klickitat Rivers — and of course the mighty Columbia. Stand up paddling in the Columbia River Gorge is the perfect compliment to kiteboarding and windsurfing. Many athletes have added it to their list of water sports.

Stand up paddling in calm waters at sunset in the Columbia Gorge

A bit of history

Peruvian fishermen who lived over 2,000 years ago were using boats called “Caballito de Totora” which were made from tightly-bound reeds. The fishermen would paddle these simple boats out into the Pacific surf. When returning to shore, they would use the waves to help push them back towards land. In the 1940s, Waikiki surf instructors began SUP as a way to stand on their boards during incoming swells, known as beach board surfing. In the 1990s, SUP was taught at Hawaiian surf schools as an alternative way to surf when there was little swell. Today, stand up paddling is very popular — anyone can do it and “walking on water” is something that all ages enjoy.

For more details about launch sites, amenities and skill levels, please click on the map below.

Water sports map of launch sites in the Columbia River Gorge for both Washington and Oregon
The Dalles is the eastern gateway to the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area and is sunsational

Explore The Dalles


This is where discovery meets history at the edge of the Columbia River. Just 90 miles east of Portland, The Dalles is a year-round escape with 300 days of sunshine throughout the year. This is the place where fishermen catch 12-foot-long river monsters, where bikers race to the peaks of Mount Hood, and where people of all ages can experience the art, culture, and history of The Dalles.

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