5 Best Places To Go Kayaking In Yellowstone

Mountains and lakes in Yellowstone

Kayaking in Yellowstone is an awesome adventure for you and your loved ones. This tourist center is as beautiful as its colorful history. Yellowstone is the first National Park in the world. To have a full view of Yellowstone, kayaking is a good way to explore the eye-catching wildlife and the beautiful scenery.

By kayaking on the beautiful rivers of Yellowstone, you’ll see new beautiful spots. You won’t be able to discover these spots by walking on dry land. If you are a great fan of nature, you will enjoy paddling or kayaking in Yellowstone.

It is a dream for many kayakers to kayak in Yellowstone, especially through the pristine wilderness. In addition, Yellowstone is known for its spurting geysers and breathtaking landscape.

The purpose of this article is to explore the five best places to kayak in Yellowstone. So join us on this trip as we explore the best places to go kayaking in this historic National Park.

Lewis Lake

Lewis Lake is rightly located in the southern part of Yellowstone National Park. This lake is approximately 10 miles from the entrance of the Continental Divide.

Moreover, tourists on this lake can only bring powered rafts, making the lake safer for kayakers and paddlers. Kayaking on this lake is quite easy. You will have the chance to observe moose, eagles, osprey, and many other beautiful wildlife creatures.

Furthermore, it is easy navigating through the current of this lake. If you want to be part of the adventure of kayaking at Lewis Lake, bring your kayak. Moreover, there is no place to rent a kayak at Yellowstone.

If you love kayaking against a strong current, head up to the Lewis River. However, there are areas within the Lewis River we don’t advise newbie kayakers to navigate due to strong river current.

Lewis Lake

Yellowstone Lake

Out of all the rivers and lakes in Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Lake is the biggest. In addition, this lake has a surface elevation of 7,732 feet.

Kayaking at Yellowstone provides tourists with a view of the special West Thumb Geyser Basin.

Tourists are not encouraged to visit this lake during winter. This lake freezes during the winter months. Therefore, summer is the best time to kayak in Yellowstone lake.

When kayaking on this lake, you would have access to geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles. To enjoy kayaking on this lake, you must obtain a Yellowstone Boating Permit.

The southern part of this lake is not open to speedboats and powered canoes. The restriction is in place to protect nature and wildlife found in these areas.

We recommend going with a tour guide to Yellowstone Lake if you are a newbie. A tour guide familiar with Yellowstone will be able to show you some hidden places.

Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake is located to the south side of the Yellowstone National Park.

This lake is renowned for being home to a wide variety of fish. In addition, it’s a good spot to kayak in Yellowstone. Throughout the United States, Jackson Lake has the highest altitude with an elevation of about 7000 feet above sea level.

Jackson lake is an outdoor paradise for paddlers and kayakers. This lake draws thousands of tourists every year. Furthermore, this lake is always accessible at all times of the year.

To launch your kayaking adventure on Jackson Lake, Colter Bays and Leeks Marina are good spots. Are you planning to go on a kayaking adventure? Jackson Lake is a good spot!

Green River Lakes

Green River Lakes is found situated about 51 miles from Pinedale. This lake is one of the spectacular lakes in the state of Wyoming. Furthermore, it is also a popular spot to have a scenic view of wildlife. If you want a kayaking adventure where the journey and the destination are equally pleasurable, Green River Lakes is a good place.

This lake is known for many recreational activities like boating, camping, fishing, and hiking. Since this river harbors a lot of fish, be careful when paddling or kayaking on the Green River Lake.

Green River Lakes is a chief tributary of the Colorado River. Moreover, tourists who visit this lake will have the opportunity to view large granite monoliths and Squaretop Mountain. Like other places in Yellowstone, this river is not opened to motorized boats and canoes.

However, for safety reasons, come with appropriate clothing to the Green River Lakes. The weather around the Green River Lakes is unpredictable. When kayaking on this river, remember to come along with your sunscreen.

Brooks Lake

Brooks Lake is located very close to Dubois, Wyoming. It is a popular remote spot for kayaking enthusiasts. Tourists visit this lake mostly during winter.

Moreover, winter is the only time tourists can visit this lake. More so, snowmobiles are the only way of accessing this lake during winter.

Brooks Lake is an awesome place to plan a trip to. The lake is remote and located inside a wilderness. The memories of kayaking on Brooks Lake will last a lifetime for you and your loved ones.

However, you have to follow the local rules and regulations to have the best kayaking experience on Brooks Lake.

Packing List of Kayaking In Yellowstone

Kayaking in Yellowstone is an opportunity to temporarily get away from the hustle and bustle of life. In addition, you will be able to explore the different wildlife.

Furthermore, if you are planning a camping trip to Yellowstone, we recommend going through the Yellowstone visitor guide.

You are encouraged to come with your own kayak as there is nowhere to rent a kayak or canoe in Yellowstone.

Kayaking on the rivers and lakes of Yellowstone is risky for newbie kayakers. Ensure you are properly trained before hitting the waters. If you are an amateur, go with a tour guide.

The rivers and lakes at Yellowstone are extremely cold. The average temperature at Yellowstone is around 40°F – 50°F. In addition, the winds can be as high as 5 feet. In this condition, paddling and kayaking can be difficult.

Below is the list of gears you’ll need for your kayaking adventure in Yellowstone:

  • Kayak
  • Kayak paddle
  • Personal floatation device
  • Dry bag
  • Kayak spray skirt
  • Paddle leash
  • Towline
  • Sea anchor
  • Sponges

Kayaking Regulations In Yellowstone

Kayaking in Yellowstone is fun and exciting. There are many rivers and lakes to explore. But to have a memorable adventure, you must adhere to kayaking regulations.

  • You must obtain a permit a permit for both motorized and none motorized vessels. The average cost of permit at Yellowstone is about 20 bucks.
  • Kayaks or watercraft that are filthy are not allowed on rivers and streams until they undergo full decontamination. So come with your clean and dry kayak.
  • A coast guard must approve your personal floatation device before hitting the waters.
  • Tourists can rent outboards and rowboats in Yellowstone. But kayaks and canoes are not up for rent.
  • Paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes are allowed on all rivers and streams asides Beach Springs Lagoon, Eleanor Lakes, and Twin Lakes.

Kayaking In Yellowstone: Best Time To Visit

Have you ever wondered about the best time to visit Yellowstone for kayaking? Without a doubt, summer is the best time to visit Yellowstone. Restrictions are less during the summer months.

However, going to Yellowstone in summer comes with some level of risk. Food is scarce in this period, animals do everything to protect their food. So while traveling on the roads of Yellowstone in the summer, be extra careful.

In addition, Yellowstone is freaking cold at night. If you are spending a night or more in this National Park, come with appropriate clothing.

Kayaking at Yellowstone is an adventure that would remain with you for a lifetime if you can take a trip down.


Kayaking in Yellowstone allows kayakers to explore the length and width of the Yellowstone National park. The benefits of going to this park outweigh any discomfort you might encounter at the start. Go to Yellowstone in the appropriate clothing as the weather is not too friendly.

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