Where to SUP Board Near Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The area around Jackson Hole, Wyoming has many great stand-up paddle-boarding opportunities.  From the classic whitewater run on the Snake River through Alpine Canyon to mellower snorkel and fish from the paddle board sections, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Check the River Level

The Snake River is large, dynamic, and powerful, and flows vary throughout the year.  Our most recent visits have been in the Summer, catching SUP-friendly flows. I recommend checking water levels before getting on the river. Use USGS Gauge to check the water level near Jackson, Wyoming.

Paddling in Grand Teton National Park

First, you must have a permit. We stopped by the Grand Teton National Park Visitor Center in Moose to get a boat permit for our SUPs.  This permit is required if you want to get on the water within the park boundaries, and it costs $25.00 per vessel.  It was well worth it to SUP the Snake River inside the park. 

You can even take out at the Visitor Center. We drove up the road from the Visitor Center to our desired distance and then floated down.  This section of the river was incredible.  The views of the Tetons are jaw-dropping! Being on the river beneath them instills a feeling of being so small yet a part of it all.  

We saw lots of wildlife, including bald eagles and Elk.  I snorkeled in between paddling and saw lots of fish in the river.  My husband fished off his board and had an exciting time catching and releasing several trout. At the takeout, in the parking lot of all places, we saw a momma bear and her three cubs.

South Park Bridge to Astoria Bridge

Another great Stand-Up Paddle Board section on the Snake River is South of Jackson Hole from the South Park Bridge to Astoria Bridge.  This section is 8.6 miles long.  

We again ran our SUP/Snorkel/Fishing pole set up and had a great time on the water.  The river trucked along nicely in this area with a few class 2 rapids.  We saw folks enjoying the river on tubes here and some fellow Stand Up Paddle Boarders.  

A Bald Eagle dove right by us for his dinner, and there was a hot spring flowing into the river on the left right before the takeout. For this section, look for the takeout on river right.

Alpine Canyon

On our past visit, when we camped in Alpine, where we enjoyed lapping on the Alpine Canyon section of the Snake River.  This section is very popular for rafting, kayaking, and SUPing with class 3 and 4 rapids, depending on the time of year.  

The famous Lunch Counter and Big Kahuna rapids/surf waves are found here.  The river eventually flows into the Palisades Reservoir in Alpine. During our visit, the water level in the reservoir was such that the lower section of the river closest to the reservoir was fairly mellow.  

Depending on both river and reservoir levels, this can sometimes be a very challenging area of the river.  My husband enjoyed stashing his fishing pole below the rapids and picking it up to fish all the way back to where we parked our RV along the banks of the river in Alpine.

Hoback River

You can also explore the Hoback River, which runs into the Snake River just upstream of the Astoria bridge.  Put in to Granite Creek first, which very shortly flushed out into the Hoback River.  This is an exciting run with areas of class 2 and 3 rapids and slower-moving water. 

The scenery is incredible.  The upper part feels quite remote, although the road is not far from the river for most of the run.  We encountered some kayakers near the confluence of the Hoback and the Snake River who explained that they enjoyed lapping the lower part of the Hoback river, putting in just about 3 or 4 miles upstream.  

We were happy to have paddled the entire section from Granite Creek, but could see how that lower section would be enjoyable if you were looking for a shorter trip.

Grateful for the Snake

I am so grateful for the time I spend on the water in and around this area of Wyoming.  Having my Hala whitewater-specific paddle board gives me the confidence to get out there enjoy the water, and try river runs that are new to me.  I hope these trip notes are helpful or inspiring as you plan your next adventure!


Emily Barnes discovered SUP 12 years ago as a way to cope with drug and alcohol addiction. She has since tried whitewater SUP, ocean surfing, and has even explored bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico.

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