Tempe Town Lake Paddling and Kayaking

If you’re looking for the most convenient place to stand up paddle in the Valley of the Sun, look right down the street toward Tempe Town Lake. This lake was created by the (dry) Salt River and has more than 2 miles of water to paddle on.

Think of this as the water version of a city hike: It’s great exercise, but maybe you don’t have the time to get our of town. Because of that, it’s great for a before- or after-work paddle.

Bonus: It’s easily accessed from Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa right off the South Mountain Freeway Loop 202.

Tempe Town Lake is located across the street from Arizona State University, so the endless events and activities happen year-round. There are all disciplines of paddling at this lake — from standup, kayak, canoe, outrigger, dragon boat, rowing and even sailing!

Tempe Town Lake is a city destination, and there you’ll find a great path for bicycling, walking or jogging. There are also countless dining options within a 10-minute walk. 

Where to paddle at Tempe Town Lake

One of the favorite times to be at the lake is at sunset.

Looking from the Tempe Town Lake from the Marina looking towards the west.
Launching Point at Tempe Town Lake Marina

Launch from the boat beach or marina. The lawn area, near the parking lot on the lake’s north, is convenient if you want to set your board on the grass and park your car. You can also walk a short distance to the small boat ramp.

All watercraft require a Town Lake permit purchased at Tempe Public Library or Pyle Adult Recreation Center.

Riverbound tip: Riverbound Sports provides permits with all rentals.

Weekly SUP meetups at Tempe Town Lake

Meet some new friends and try the weekly exercise SUP paddles with Riverbound Sports on Tuesday (Sunset Meetup Paddle) and Fridays (Fast as Frick: fast laps) both starting at 6:30 pm, meeting at the Tempe Lake Marina. And if you have not yet decided upon a purchase of a standup paddleboard, rentals are always available.

Riverbound tip: Watercraft should follow a counter-clockwise pattern of the lake. If paddling before sunrise or after sunset, lights are required to be attached to your board. Either a PFD or leash must be worn while SUPn. And, swimming is just for special events on the lake.

Fourth of July at Tempe Town Lake

Absolutely do not miss annual Fourth of July fireworks from the water. The Tempe Town Lake Independence Day Celebration allows you to paddle out to the middle of the lake and watch the amazing fireworks above you. The spectacular show is presented from the Mill Avenue Bridge.

Kayak and SUP PaddleBoard Rentals

Although, Riverbound Sports is not located directly on Tempe Town Lake, we are just a 1.5 miles from the lake. We provide all the gear to transport our high-quality paddleboards and kayaks to and from the water. Check out our pricing and options for Paddleboard Rentals in Arizona.

Rent A Paddleboard or Kayak Now

Be sure to check the Riverbound Sports Events Calendar for dates and information on events happening around the Phoenix area.

Tuesday night paddle at Tempe town Lake sunset
Sunset Paddle at Tempe Town Lake

Directions from Riverbound Sports

Author: Suzi DeMaio-Parmentier

Photo by Nat Parmentier