Kayak • Sandpoint

Kayak • Sandpoint Idaho

The Sandpoint area (located in Bonner County) has over 49 lakes which provide many opportunities for kayaking, and enjoying the water ways. 

Whether you own an innovative Hobie Kayak or need a rental, there are many options to race to a near destination, park your car, and enjoy this popular recreation.

It is time to get back to nature and enjoy the great outdoors. If you want to get away from the crowds, catch some fish, or just explore the waterways, choose to kayak Sandpoint Idaho. We have it all!

Please Note: Weather and water levels play an integral role in the level of experience needed for kayaking. Always check your weather and nation flow rate before venturing out.

The Best Kayaking Spots Around Sandpoint, Idaho

Lake Pend Oreille – The largest lake in Idaho, and one of the deepest in the nation, Lake Pend Oreille stretches Bonner County, and has many places to kayak. 

The City of Sandpoint is located on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. You can kayak around the Sandpoint beach, or drive to the city of Hope and paddle around some of the lake’s islands. 

If you like overnight kayak trips, this lake is for you. Lake Pend Oreille is 148 square miles, and most of the shoreline is unpopulated.

Because the lake is so big, there are many different access options depending on what you want to do. There are also great fishing opportunities just about everywhere on the lake.

Because Lake Pend Oreille is a large lake, the winds can pick up and make for rough waters. You can always paddle to different access or make it a round trip on this vast lake.

  • Eagle Boat Launch (Beginner – Intermediate) – Located at Farragut State Park, you can kayak around the bay and maybe even catch a glimpse of the local mountain goats on Bernard Peak. This trip can be made into a 6 mile journey and will take about 3 to 4 hours.
  • Garfield Bay (Beginner – Intermediate) – This bay is easy to access, and is at the south end of the lake. From here you can paddle to Green Bay which is about 1 to 3 miles one way, depending on where you put in. It has amazing cliffs and pebble beaches to land on and enjoy the day.
  • Long Bridge Area (Beginner – Intermediate) – The boat launch at Memorial Field is a good way to explore this large bay which is next to Sandpoint, just downstream of the 2 mile Long Bridge. From here, you can make your way to the Sandpoint City Beach or work downstream towards Springy Point where you can take out.
  • Sandpoint City Beach (Beginner – Intermediate) – Put your kayak in and take out at the city beach. You can paddle to Boyer Slough, the shallowest part of the lake. It is about 2.5 miles to the slough one way. You can also continue on to Kootenai Bay which has a lot of open water, but can be windy and have rougher water.
  • Sunnyside Access (Beginner – Intermediate) – Sunnyside Access is a “pack it in pack it out” small boat launch. At this put in/take out location, you can head east to the Pack River flats or head west around the point to Fisherman Island. Either way it’s 360 degrees of mountains and beautiful water.

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kayaks, apparel, gear and services

The Alpine Shop can help you and the family get started with kayaks from the industry leader – Hobie. If you haven’t experienced the lake on a Hobie, then there’s whole new world of kayaking waiting for you.  

Pedal propulsion systems to move you farther, fishing set ups so you can catch a record Kokanee, get in a good workout or simply relax while paddling and catching a beautiful sunset. The Alpine Shop can get you set up and on the water! 

Check out our kayaks from:
  • Hope Area (Beginner – Intermediate) – Located on the east side of the lake, this small town area has a few different kayak launching spots like Pringle Park, Hope Boat Basin, and Sam Owen Campground. There are about 13 miles of shorelines to explore. From these spots you can see incredible views of the Monarch Mountain cliffs and paddle around to the different lake islands. It’s always a good idea to stay close to the shorelines if the wind kicks up to prevent getting caught out in choppy water.
  • Clark Fork Delta (Beginner – Intermediate) – This 3 mile wide delta is the end of the famous Clark Fork River which begins high in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. There are three main access places: Johnson Creek Access, Denton Slough, and the Clark Fork Drift Yard. Clark Fork Delta is a great place to see wildlife. You can spend all day paddling around in the many channels of this delta.
  • Pack River (Beginner to Experience) – Pack River runs from the Selkirk Mountains into Lake Pend Oreille on the northeast end. The upper and lower Pack River are definitely for two different types of kayakers. The upper part of the river is for the expert kayaker only. It has some major falls and some rapids in the springtime while the lower portion can be great for families and a leisurely stroll down stream in the summer. Starting at US 95 you can kayak 8 hours down river to the Pack River Delta where wildlife is abundant. There are a couple other take outs along the way to make your trip shorter.
  • Pend Oreille River (Intermediate) – The Pend Oreille River begins at the Long Bridge on Lake Pend Oreille. You can kayak from Dover Bay, near Sandpoint, and head down stream a few miles in the evenings for beautiful sunset views. Another good floating trip is to start at Laclede, and make your way down to the City of Priest River. This is about an 8 mile trip.
  • Priest Lake (Beginner – Intermediate) – Priest Lake is actually two lakes. The main lake and the upper lake are connected by a small waterway, which is a kayaker’s dream. There is beautiful scenery and crystal clear water. The waterway is 2.5 to 3 miles one way, and you can spend all day at the upper lake. Good places to launch include the Priest Lake State Park and Beaver Creek Campground on the main lake. It is best to get an early start before the boaters take to the lake. 
  • Cocolalla Lake (Beginner) – South of Sandpoint, this 800-acre lake is easy to get to, and is well stocked with fish. There is only one access point to put in and take out as the majority of the lakefront is private property.
  • Round Lake (Beginner) – Round Lake is great for kayakers. Regulations prohibit motorized boats on this lake, which makes it a good destination for the whole family. You can also explore Cocolalla Creek which connects Round Lake with Cocolalla Lake, but be sure to watch out for beaver dams.
  • Priest River (Intermediate – Experienced) – Priest River is known to have many levels of kayaking from class I to IV. It is 28 miles long, and can be turned into a two day trip. There are a few put in and take out spots depending on your experience as a kayaker.  An 8 mile stretch (best for beginner to intermediate depending on the water flow) is a put in at Mabee Falls and take out at Mud Hole Park. 
  • Lighting Creek (Experienced) – In early spring, this creek can turn into class III/IV.  It is great for the experienced kayaker during spring runoff. Located above the city of Clark Fork, this creek will take you through dense forests and mountain terrain.
  • Clark Fork River (Intermediate) – There is a Clark Fork access for non motorized boats on the north side of the river below the Cabinet Gorge Dam. From here it is about 8.5 miles down to the Clark Fork Delta, or you can take out at various access points along the way depending on how much time you want to spend on the river. This is a good way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and maybe catch a fish along the way.