Paddling at Tempe Town lake

If you are looking for the most convenient place to stand up paddle in the Valley of the Sun or Metro Phoenix, look right down the street toward Tempe Town Lake. This lake was created by the (dry) Salt River and has over 2 miles of water to paddle on. It can be easily accessed from anywhere in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, or Mesa and the surrounding towns, right off the 202 Loop. You can compare this city lake to perhaps a city hike. Similar to where you want to get in some great exercise but do not necessarily have the time to drive to the lakes out-skirting the Valley. It can be considered a suitable before or after work exercise paddle. This lake has walkable places to eat, a great path for bicycling, walking or jogging, if you are doing some cross training after your paddle- or maybe a friend wants to adventure on the path and take images of you while you SUP on by. There are also several parks with shaded ramadas and facilities along the water’s edge. You can clearly watch any man powered watercraft from these paths, or the Mill Avenue Bridges. Which is also a good spot for a friend to get a slightly aerial video of you paddling, and the beautiful surroundings. 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

Launching can be done from the boat beach or marina. The lawn area, near the parking lot on the north side of the lake, is convenient if you want to set your board on the grass and park your car. Or if you prefer to just want to walk it down to the small boat ramp, it is a short distance after you park. All watercraft require a Town Lake permit purchased at Tempe Public Library or Pyle Adult Recreation Center. Note: (Riverbound Sports provides permits with all rentals).

Tempe Town Lake is also located across the street from Arizona State University, so the events and activities here are endless and happen year-round. There are all disciplines of paddling at this lake, from standup, kayak, canoe, outrigger, dragon boats, rowing and even sailing!
Meet some new friends and try the weekly exercise SUP paddles with Riverbound Sports on Tuesday (Sunset Meet up 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.

(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.)

Something fun for the family or friends is the Fourth of July fireworks that happen each year. 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, while you float on the water. The spectacular show is presented from the Mill Avenue Bridge.

Written by: Suzi DeMaio-Parmentier

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 and provide all the gear to transport our high quality paddleboards and kayaks to and from the water. Our most popular rental for Tempe Town Lake is our half-day rental (4 hours) starting at $25. 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