Unleash your inner adventurer and paddle into a world of untamed beauty Nestled amidst the majestic peaks and pristine landscapes of the Wild West, Wyoming offers a paradise for kayakers seeking thrilling water escapades.
Whether you crave the rush of conquering roaring rapids or prefer to glide through serene alpine lakes, this rugged state boasts an abundance of breathtaking spots that will leave you awe-inspired.
From hidden gems tucked away in lush forests to iconic waterways meandering through iconic national parks, join us on a journey as we unveil the top places to kayak in Wyoming.
Get ready to embark on an unforgettable aquatic odyssey, where every stroke of your paddle reveals nature’s astonishing wonders.
Overview Of Places to Kayak in Wyoming
Wyoming has no shortage of picturesque and beautiful places to paddle around. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely ride along a calm river or a more challenging experience on the whitewater rapids, Wyoming is sure to have something for kayakers of all skill levels.
Sinks Canyon State Park in Lander is home to numerous lakes and creeks with various classes of rapids that are perfect for those looking for an adventure.
In addition to Heart Lake Trail, Pathfinder Reservoir offers kayakers and canoeists an opportunity to paddle over flat water surrounded by breathtaking views.
The five forks of the Big Horn River also showcase stunning views and stretches of rattlesnake rapids. Regardless of your preference, Wyoming has many excellent spots perfect for kayaking experiences you won’t soon forget.
Why Scenic Drives Are A Great Way To Explore Wyoming
10 kayaking places in Wyoming
1. Snake River
This river, which flows through Grand Teton National Park, is one of the most popular kayaking destinations in Wyoming. It offers a range of rapids, from Class I to Class IV, and stunning views of the Tetons.
The Snake River is an iconic landmark in Wyoming, providing both thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike with unparalleled beauty.
From deep rapids that fill kayakers and rafters with adrenaline, to gentle stretches that offer the tranquillity of a relaxing float downstream, the Snake River has something for everyone.
Along its course through Grand Teton National Park, visitors can feast their eyes on stunning scenery as the sparkling water carves its way past mountains, cliffs, and forests.
Whether you’re experienced in whitewater or are just starting out, the Snake River is sure to be one of your favourite kayaking destinations.
2. Green River
The Green River, which runs through Wyoming and Utah, offers a range of kayaking experiences, from calm stretches to challenging rapids. It’s also known for its scenic beauty, with towering cliffs and red rock formations.
The Green River is renowned for its hundreds of miles of kayak-able waters. Along the way, kayakers can experience a variety of rapids, from the gentle to the white-knuckle adrenaline rush.
Its scenery is just as varied, with towering cliffs and striking red rocks standing against green meadows and blue skies.
Even when paddling through the more treacherous parts of its course, you can enjoy beautiful sights and sounds as a reward for navigating the more adventurous areas of the river.
With so much to offer, it is no wonder why adventurers return year after year to experience what this river has in store!
3. Shoshone River
The Shoshone River, which runs through the Shoshone National Forest, is another popular kayaking destination in Wyoming. It offers a range of rapids, from Class I to Class IV, and stunning scenery.
Meandering through the pristine wilderness of Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest, the Shoshone River provides an idyllic outdoor experience for kayaking enthusiasts.
Perfect for a weekend retreat or day trip, the river offers something for everyone – from relaxed Class 1 rapid to daring Class IV drops, as well as stunning natural beauty to take in along your voyage.
The area around the river is filled with wildlife and plenty of opportunities to adventure and explore, so make sure to bring plenty of supplies and a camera adventure awaits you on the Shoshone River.
4. Bighorn River
The Bighorn River, which runs through northern Wyoming, is a popular destination for fly fishing, but it’s also a great place for kayaking. It offers a mix of calm stretches and rapids, with stunning canyon scenery.
The Bighorn River in Wyoming is an absolute paradise for anyone looking to get out and enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities.
Fly fishing enthusiasts can take advantage of the plentiful options throughout the river while also taking in views of stunning canyons.
Those looking for more of an adrenaline rush can find plenty of challenging rapids mixed in with stretches of placid water, perfect for a kayaking adventure.
No matter what activity you choose, the scenery along the Bighorn River is sure to be breathtaking.
5. North Platte River
The North Platte River, which runs through southern Wyoming, offers a range of kayaking experiences, from calm stretches to challenging rapids. It’s also known for its stunning scenery, with towering cliffs and beautiful canyons.
Experience the wonder of southern Wyoming’s North Platte River by gauging its current on a kayaking adventure.
Feel the thrill as you make your way along tranquil sections and brave the challenge of white-capped rapids.
From this watery perspective, you’ll also gain an appreciation for its stunning landscape, where majestic cliffs dwarf rugged canyons.
Whether an experienced kayaker or novice enthusiast, there’s an adventure to be found along the North Platte River.
6. Wind River
The Wind River, which runs through central Wyoming, offers a range of kayaking experiences, from calm stretches to challenging rapids.
It’s also known for its stunning mountain scenery, with views of the Wind River Range.
If you’re looking for a unique kayaking adventure, the Wind River in Wyoming is sure to deliver.
From its meandering paths that give way to challenging rapids, it’s easy to see why the Wind River has become such a popular destination among kayakers of all ages and abilities.
But what makes this river especially special are the stunning views it offers of the Wind River Range a landscape found nowhere else on Earth.
Kayakers and outdoor lovers alike will find much to explore here, with sights so breathtaking they won’t soon forget.
7. Jackson Lake
Jackson Lake, located in Grand Teton National Park, is a popular kayaking destination in Wyoming. It offers calm waters and stunning views of the Tetons.
Jackson Lake is a must-see destination for kayakers in Wyoming. Located in Grand Teton National Park, this spectacular body of water offers gorgeous views of the surrounding Tetons when aglow with the rising or setting sun.
You can easily explore this sparkling lake during the calmer months, as its waters provide an ideal spot to paddle and enjoy some tranquil alone time with nature.
Even better, its central location makes efficient access to the many hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park effortless.
Whatever your motivation may be, it’s clear that a visit to Jackson Lake is sure to make lasting memories that you won’t soon forget!
8. Lake Yellowstone
Lake Yellowstone, located in Yellowstone National Park, is another popular kayaking destination in Wyoming. It offers calm waters and stunning views of the park’s geothermal features.
Kayaking in Lake Yellowstone, located in the breathtaking Yellowstone National Park, is surely an enjoyable and memorable experience.
A peaceful paddle along its calm waters will not only provide you with a much-needed outdoor holiday but also gift you with gorgeous views of the park’s remarkable geothermal features.
The area is full of wildlife from the majestic grizzly bear to the amusing otter family. Take this chance to experience firsthand the ancient history and raw beauty that Wyoming offers.
9. Flaming Gorge Reservoir
Flaming Gorge Reservoir, located in southern Wyoming and northern Utah, is a popular destination for kayaking and other water sports. It offers calm waters and stunning canyon scenery.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir is an amazing destination for those seeking adventure in the great outdoors. Not only does it offer placid waters perfect for kayaking and other water sports, but the surrounding canyon walls provide a stunning backdrop that no camera can do justice.
While swimming and boating are permitted on the 57-mile-long stretch of the reservoir, there is also plenty of shoreline along its banks that can be explored.
Enjoy a calming paddle up to Red Canyon, or launch off in search of wildlife like eagles and bison in the hopes of encountering some incredible Utah landscape during your next outdoor excursion.
10. Boysen Reservoir:
Boysen Reservoir, located in central Wyoming, is a popular destination for kayaking and other water sports. It offers calm waters and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
One of the best-kept secrets in central Wyoming is Boysen Reservoir. This stunning spot is loved for its calm and pleasantly warm waters, which make it ideal for kayaking, swimming, and fishing.
On top of that, breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains surround you no matter where you end up while on your excursion.
With an abundance of recreational activities available, Boysen Reservoir is a must-visit destination if you find yourself looking for some adventure in the Cowboy State.
Tips for Safely Enjoying the Drive
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Wyoming for kayaking is typically from late May through mid-September when the weather is warm and sunny.
The days are long and there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, making it an ideal time to enjoy the drive.
Some of the most popular destinations in Wyoming during this time include Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Jackson Hole.
Preparing for the Kayaking
Before setting out on a kayaking trip in Wyoming, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary supplies.
Be sure to bring a life jacket, plenty of water and snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a first aid kit, and any other items that you may need for your adventure.
Make sure someone knows where you’re going so they can check in on you if needed and be aware of any special permits or regulations that may apply in certain areas.
When kayaking in Wyoming, make sure you have the following items:
Paddle(s), lifejacket(s), whistle(s), dry bag(s) with clothes and extra layers in case of an emergency, rope(s) with carabiners attached to attach gear or tow another boat in case of trouble, bilge pump (in case water gets inside your boat), Personal Floatation Device (PFD) such as a life vest equipped with whistles or lights that will help rescuers locate you if you get into trouble while out on the water.
Additionally, it’s also important to bring along basic repair kits such as duct tape, zip ties, and/or spare parts like oar locks or blade guards; these can help get you back on the water quickly should something break down unexpectedly.
Kayaking Laws Wyoming
In order to ensure safety for everyone out on the water, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all applicable laws before setting out on your kayaking trip.
This includes required licensing requirements; some states require individuals under 16 years old to wear a life jacket when out on a vessel less than 16 feet long unless they have passed an approved boating safety course.
Others require operators over 12 years old who are operating vessels over 12 feet long to have completed an approved boating safety course as well as carry certain safety equipment such as fire extinguishers or visual distress signals on board at all times when operating their boats.
Additionally, obstructions must be avoided along with navigating according to prevailing visibility conditions – no vessels should be operated at night unless they are properly equipped with navigation lights visible from two miles away.
Depending on where exactly one is wanting to kayak within Wyoming state limits, some bodies of water may even require special permits or access fees prior to use so make sure that these requirements are taken care of prior to departure.
Wyoming offers plenty of opportunities to explore and find adventure, especially when it comes to kayaking.
From lazy rivers perfect for a leisurely and peaceful afternoon spent kayaking to intense rapids designed for the most daring adrenaline junkies, there is something available for every type of paddling enthusiast in Wyoming.
Many of the local parks and lakes offer miles of pristine waters ideal for kayaking or canoeing, while rivers often feature class I-IV rapids that offer endless entertainment and exploration.
Whether you’re looking for a thrilling experience or just want to spend some time by the water in a peaceful setting, Wyoming has plenty of places to kayak sure to satisfy all your needs.