Guest Blog: Glacier National Park

Guest Blog: Glacier National Park

Today, we would like to share a post provided to us by our friend, Timothy Beggs, who recently went on a trip to Glacier National Park.  We love to hear about adventures near and far and are so happy that our Stillwater SUPs added a new level of fun for Tim, his friends, and his family.

Glacier National Park, sunrise on lake

As someone who is new to paddle boarding, I was unsure of what to expect when I tried this very hyped-up sensational rave, and I must say I was not disappointed. I am also very into camping and mountaineering, so when I went to Glacier National Park this year to do a camping and climbing trip, I decided to bring paddle boards as well. And boy, am I glad I did.

Glacier National Park, friends

After a long day of hiking and climbing in the mountains, we would go for a one-two hour paddle on Bowman Lake where our main camp site was and I even got up early one morning to watch the sunrise from the water.

Glacier National Park, ready to SUP

As much as I love fast-paced high-risk activities, paddle boarding brought such a fun and enjoyable addition to our camping trip this year.  Whether we were hiking Logan's Pass or climbing Mt Siyeh, my brothers would always say, “When we get back to camp, we need to do some more paddle boarding,” to which I always agreed.

Glacier National Park lake at sunrise

While Fun Unlimited offers some beautiful locations to rent from in Post Falls and Spokane, I always like getting a little farther away. Thankfully, they let me take the paddle boards off-site for the trip. So 6 hours away in Glacier National Park, Montana, I was able to enjoy the most peaceful and quiet sunrise on a remote lake.

Glacier National Park Lake

Thanks Fun Unlimited and Stillwater Outdoors for the great time in Montana and for the many more trips on the water to come!

Thanks Tim!  We're so glad you had a safe trip and hope next summer brings many more adventures on water and on land.

All pictures were provided, and used with permission, by Timothy Beggs.  The article is presented, as given, with the exception of a few minor grammar corrections.  

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Destination Spotlight: Deep Lake

Destination Spotlight: Deep Lake

The school year is about to start again, and with it comes all the stress and chaos of getting your kids ready.  Supplies, clothes, and other gear to buy.  Sports physicals to schedule.  And the after school activities?

So with all of that coming in fast, wouldn't it be nice to have one last peaceful outing?  A little "me" time spent in a serene setting where the only thing you have to decide is whether to paddle or float a while?

Stillwater Outdoors has found the perfect spot.  A glassy, crystal clear lake nestled in the mountains of Northeastern Washington.

Deep Lake.

Deep Lake, WA North End

We consider it to be an ideal destination for anyone with an SUP.  Though the lake is small, it's rarely (if ever) crowded and at most you can typically only find a single boat (usually fishing), a few kayaks or canoes, and the occasional duck or goose.  Keep your eyes peeled, however, as bald eagles sometimes swoop down to catch some trout before they soar along the valley.

The best part?  The unique shape of the lake and the surrounding topography mean the water is usually smooth and calm - perfect for a bit of SUP yoga or just a relaxing cruise around the lake.  And the views?  It can't get much better than tree-covered mountains, rocky cliffs, and abundant wildlife.

Deep Lake, WA

And while you're there, why not bring your fishing pole?  The summer season is perfect for trout and as summer fades into fall, Kokanee (silver trout) are easy to catch.

There is a public boat launch with bathrooms, though a Discover Pass is required.  Don't have one?  Check out this website for more information about costs and where to buy:

Discover Pass

Deep Lake, WA Public Boat Launch

For those looking to launch a boat, we'd like to offer a bit of warning.  The cement platform for launching has a severe drop at the end with a metal tab sticking out, perfect for catching on a wheel.  Instead, consider using the gravel slope alongside it as a safer alternative.  It's not as steep, which means you'll have to back up farther, but you won't run the risk of catching on the metal or getting stuck on the drop-off.

Deep Lake Resort has closed, so if you're looking to stay a while, you'll have to find an alternative.  For the adventurous types, there is always the national forest which has easy access off Deep Lake Boundary Road.  While there, you can check out Big Meadow Lake as well, which rests deep in the national forest and does have primitive campsites available on a first come, first serve basis.  If that's not your style, you could always stay in one of the nearby towns: Colville, Kettle Falls, or Northport.  If you're staying in Kettle Falls or Northport, you could always spend a little time on the Columbia River as well.

So before you jump into the new school year, why not take a day (or two) to visit Deep Lake and add a little serenity to your life?

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10 Reasons to Visit Idaho

10 Reasons to Visit Idaho

Idaho is definitely one of those states that gets overlooked, which is a shame when you consider just how much it has to offer.  For those looking for adventure, wanting to escape into the wilderness, or just planning to enjoy the view, Idaho needs to be your next stop.

Here's why ...

Indian Tunnel, Craters of the Moon

1.  Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

A mouthful, but this is guaranteed to offer a unique experience.  There are plenty of hiking trails for those who want to enjoy the beauty of the unique terrain features formed by lava flows.  Or, for the more adventurous (and experienced) types, there are five caves to explore.  Some are difficult to traverse, so be sure to grab a cave guide at the trail head.  The Indian Tunnel (pictured above) is rated easy and has steels stairs at the entrance.  At over 40 feet high and 800 feet long, it provides a great chance to explore a cave without the claustrophobia.

2.  Route of the Hiawatha Rail-Trail

This 15-mile route crosses the Bitterroot Mountains between Montana and Idaho.  It passes through 10 tunnels and goes over 7 high steel trestles.  The best part?  It's all downhill with a shuttle service to take you back up to your car.  The "Taft" Tunnel stretches for 1.66 miles, so remember to bring a headlamp or other flashlight.  If you don't have a bike, don't worry.  You can always rent one from the Lookout Pass Ski Area (which offers great skiing come winter).  This is a prime example of how we can reinvent pieces from history - the Milwaukee railroad went bankrupt in 1977 and in its place the Route of the Hiawatha was born.

Sawtooth Mountains

3.  The Sawtooth National Forest/Recreation Area

Considered to be the "crown jewel" of Idaho, the Sawtooth Recreation Area has over 700 miles of trails, 50 peaks topping 10,000 feet, and nearly 400 alpine lakes, many of which have no trails to access them.  There are plenty of opportunities for adventurers - hiking, horseback riding, snowmachining, downhill skiing, camping (at campsites or dispersed), and more.  This area has made headlines as being part of the first dark sky reserve - making it one of the best places for gazing at the night sky.  

4.  International Selkirk Loop

Not into camping?  Prefer a scenic drive instead?  This has got to be on your bucket list.  The loop itself crosses the border into Canada, so be sure to have your papers in order, but the extra red tape is definitely worth it.  You'll be able to view stunning mountain vistas, crystal clear lakes, caves, rivers, and don't forget wildlife.  With plenty of options for staying overnight, you can take your time and enjoy all the Loop has to offer - cruises, wine tasting, canoeing, wildlife viewing (including some amazing bird watching), skiing and sleigh riding, horseback riding, fishing, and more.

Minidoka Internment Camp, Idaho

 5.  Minidoka National Historic Site

During World War II, President Roosevelt signed an executive order that forced 120,000 people of Japanese descent to leave their homes, jobs, and lives in order to be moved to one of ten internment camps around the country.  Minidoka is one such camp and allows visitors to see what life was like inside the camp.  It's a powerful place to visit, one that echoes the words of those held there - Let it not happen again.

Climbing Bread Loaves in City of Rocks, ID

6.  City of Rocks National Reserve

Get your hiking boots, climbing gear, and sense of adventure ready.  Here you will find unusual geological features that inspired the pioneers passing through to call this region the "silent city".  There are over 600 routes to follow, or you can scramble around on your own.  Don't own climbing gear?  Don't worry.  Try their Climbing Experience Program where all gear and training is provided.  If climbing doesn't interest you, there are over 22 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous throughout the park.

View of Lake Pend Oreille from Sandpoint, ID

7.  Lake Pend Oreille

It's 43 miles long with nearly 200 miles of shoreline and, at its deepest, is 1,158 feet deep.  Surrounded by mountains and national forests, much of the lake offers pristine shoreline with sheltered bays and plenty of open water.  Stop in to Sandpoint on the northern end of the lake and consider taking a cruise.  Visit Farragut State Park (Idaho's largest state park) on the southern end of the lake to enjoy camping with easy access to the water.  While there, visit Bayview and stop by the Tree to Tree Adventure Park and experience a truly unique adventure up in the treetops.

 8.  Ghost Towns ... Need We Say More?

Although we can't guarantee actually seeing a ghost, Idaho offers several chances to visit ghost towns.  Most were constructed during the gold rush and were just as quickly abandoned when the mining stopped.  If you want an interactive experience, try visiting the Custer Ghost Town where many structures were restored and workers provide historical information about what it was like to live there.  If you want a more raw experience, check out the Gilmore Ghost Town which used to be a silver mining town.  Now, eight log and frame structures remain in their original state (except for pieces added for stability and safety).

River Rafting, Snake River

9.  Snake River

It's the largest tributary of the Columbia River and spans over 1,000 miles beginning Wyoming and ending in Washington.  Besides the obvious benefits of visiting a river (swimming, boating, fishing), the Snake River offers a few unique opportunities.  One - Hells Canyon is 10 miles long and almost 8,000 feet deep, making it the deepest river gorge in North America.  Besides its beautiful vistas, it offers some excellent rafting experiences.  Two - Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey.  A mouthful to be sure, this national conservation area boasts the nation's (if not the world's) largest concentration of nesting birds of prey.  

Fun Unlimited on the Spokane River just outside of Coeur d'Alene

10.  Lake Coeur d'Alene

This lake truly has something for everyone.  Bring your golf clubs and check out their famous floating green.  Stop by Sherman Street for a bit of shopping, fine dining, or just to enjoy the view.  Hike or bike along the North Idaho Centennial Trail, Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, or Tubbs Hill.  And, of course, stop by to see our sister company, Fun Unlimited, in Post Falls, just down the Spokane River from Lake Coeur d'Alene.  There you can rent SUPs, kayaks, PWC, and boats to take upriver and enjoy all the lake has to offer.

Or just stop in to say hi.  We're always glad to make new friends.

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10 Reasons to Visit Washington State

10 Reasons to Visit Washington State

The United States is incredibly diverse and offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors whether you're looking for the perfect hiking trail, a peaceful lake for canoeing, or maybe trails for horseback riding.  With so many places to choose from, it can be difficult to find that perfect destination for your next adventure.

Here are 10 reasons why Washington should be your next vacation destination.

1.  San Juan Island

This National Historic Park has something for everyone.  Hiking trails spread through forests, up mountains, and alone pristine beaches.  There are opportunities to brush up on your history during a re-enactment at English Camp.  Enjoy wildlife?  Watch whales, seals, porpoises, foxes, deer, and make sure to stop by American Camp, one of the best locations for bird watching around the world.  Both camps have boat launches so be sure to bring your canoe, kayak, or SUP.

Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

2.  Olympic National Park

A gem of the state, Olympic National Park offers a wide range of activities to enjoy year-round.  There are 16 campgrounds for those who plan to stay a while, and we highly recommend that you do.  The park covers over 920,000 acres which amounts to over 1,400 square miles.  Complete a day hike on the 600+ miles of trail or enjoy the 3,000+ miles of rivers and streams.  Curious about the natives of the area?  Check out over 650 archaeological sites and the half million museum objects.

Diablo Overlook

3.  North Cascades National Park

Personally, I love viewing the mountains but have no experience actually climbing them.  The North Cascades Highway offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the mountains without experience - either by car or by bicycle.  Stop by the Washington Pass Overlook for spectacular views, continue down to the Diablo Lake Overlook to see the aqua blue waters, and then stop by the North Cascades Institute or the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center for educational programs and tours.  For those looking for a little more adventure, consider boat-in camping on Ross Lake.

4.  Lewis and Clark National Park

Looking for an interactive experience?  The Lewis and Clark National Park is a great place to learn about local history by seeing it in action.  Summer and Winter programs showcase flintlock muzzle loaders (fired by rangers) as well as historical demonstrations.  Participate in guided hiking tours along the Netul River or sign up for a guided paddle tour on the Lewis and Clark River.

Mount Rainier

5.  Mount Rainier National Park

If hiking is your thing, consider making this your destination.  Mount Rainier National Park has over forty hiking trails and offers permitted backcountry camping as well.  Want a challenge?  Consider completing part or all of the Pacific Crest Trail which weaves in and out of the park and spans 2,650 miles from the Canadian border down to southern California.  If you are thinking of completing the entire trail, plan for 5 months of intense hiking (although some elite hikers have completed it in as little as 2 months).

Lake Roosevelt, low water table

6.  Lake Roosevelt National Park

Enjoy spending time on the water?  Stop by Lake Roosevelt National Park and explore 130 miles of lake formed by the Grand Coulee Dam.  There are 22 public boat launches available, but remember to call ahead.  Because of the nature of the man-made lake, water levels change throughout the year and certain launches may be closed.  Want a truly unique experience?  Consider renting a houseboat from either Lake Roosevelt Adventures or Lake Roosevelt Vacations Inc.

7.  Colville National Forest

Although not as well-known as some of the other national forests on our list, we consider Colville National Forest to be a perfect choice for those looking to get outdoors.  It spans 1.1 million acres that cover three mountain ranges and three river valleys.  There are nearly 500 miles of hiking trails, horse trails, biking trails, and OHV trails.  While exploring, be on the look out for grizzlies, bald eagles, cougars, black bears, and the last remaining caribou herd in the contiguous United States.  There are plenty of campgrounds to choose from or go off-grid with backcountry camping.  And for those who love winter, 49 Degrees North is an excellent place to snowboard, ski, and snowshoe.

Spokane Falls

8.  Spokane River Centennial Trail

This nearly 60 mile stretch of paved trail is great for pedestrians and bikers alike.  It stretches from Nine Mile Falls in Washington all the way to Coeur d'Alene in Idaho and presents beautiful views of the Spokane River.  Completing this trail will take you through forests as well as metropolitan areas, giving you a unique experience.  While passing through Spokane, consider stopping at Riverfront Park to enjoy views of the Spokane Falls from the Skyride, cruise around the newly added skate ribbon, or take a ride on one of the last hand-carved, wooden carrousels around, the Looff Carrousel.

Lake Chelan

9.  Lake Chelan

This lake has so much to offer including the 139-acre Lake Chelan State Park on the southern shore with its 6,000 feet of shoreline and, on the northern shore, the remote village of Stehekin which is only accessible by boat, plane, or foot.  The lake itself is over 50 miles long and and is over 1,400 feet deep.  Here, you can enjoy boating, camping, fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, and more.  Spend the day at a family water park or consider visiting one of the many wineries and enjoy a glass of wine while viewing the stunning mountain vistas.

10.  Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Formed during the Ice Age, the Dry Falls (a former waterfall 4 times the size of Niagra Falls) stretch for 3.5 miles and stand over 400 feet tall.  This is one of many sites along the National Ice Age Floods Geologic Trail.  Deep Lake, visible from the falls, is a perfect place for paddling or kayaking.  Hikers can enjoy trails that wind over sage-brush covered hills to the table-top cliffs.  This park perfectly showcases the diversity that Washington has to offer.

 

Hopefully, this list will prove that Washington is more than just coffee, rain, and technology.  The incredibly diverse landscape provides something for everyone whether you prefer snow-covered mountain slopes, aqua-blue waters, or shifting sand dunes.
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SUP Camping: A New Way to Explore

SUP Camping: A New Way to Explore

There is something thrilling about loading your gear into a backpack, driving out into the wilderness, and then leaving everything behind as you explore a world very few are lucky enough to see.  The challenge isn't just in the terrain, but in the very act itself.  When you are limited to a backpack and are faced with surviving in the wilderness ... what do you bring?

But backpacking has even more limitations, especially when it comes to water.  That's why we are huge fans of SUP camping.  A relatively new activity, SUP camping brings a few notable advantages your to next camping adventure while still providing the challenges you crave.

Hiking boots and backpack

There's more space than a backpack ... but not much.  While SUP camping, you have two main loading areas: one at the front of the SUP and one at the rear.  What you load and where you load it depends on what you plan to plan to do, where you plan to go, and how long you plan to be gone.

Consider your board.  There are many different types of SUPs, and not all are created equal when SUP camping.  Typically, touring or all-purpose boards are best.  They are wider, longer, and generally more stable than other boards.  You also want a board with adequate places to anchor your gear.  Bungees in the front and back are ideal.

SUPing is about balance, so be sure to balance the weight along the center line of the board.  Weight distribution back-to-front is important as well.  In most cases, you will want equal weight in the front and back.  If you are planning to go through any whitewater, considering packing more of the weight up front.

First Aid Kit

Create a day/ditch bag.  This is the bag you plan to grab if you need to ditch your SUP for some reason (whether you're going to do a little exploring on land or you tip, your gear gets free, and you have to make a quick decision before it floats away).  In it, store what you need to survive - water purification system, matches, first aid, some food, your cell phone and money, and so on.

Do a dry run.  This may seem like overkill, but it's better to figure out that you have too much gear and not enough board in your backyard than at your drop-in site.  If possible, test it out on the water.  This allows you to adjust weight distribution to be sure you can balance properly on the board.  It also gives you a chance to feel how the board handles on the water with your gear attached.

Weight Scale, Light and Heavy

Think light.  Don't be fooled.  SUP camping isn't just about minimal gear, it's also about lightweight gear.  All boards have a maximum weight with the larger boards topping out around 300 pounds.  After you consider your weight, the weight of the dry bags, the weight of any food and water you need to bring, sleeping gear, cooking gear, clothing, first aid gear ... you see where I'm going with this.  After packing, weigh your dry bags to get a better idea of what the combined weight will be to make sure that you don't overload your board.

And, of course, follow all of your water safety rules.  That includes bringing safety gear (compass, maps, GPS, etc.) as well as creating a float plan to leave with an emergency contact.  Make sure to follow any laws/rules associated with the body of water you are traversing as well as any camping regulations that apply to your planned rest stops.

 

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A Beginner's Guide to Camping

A Beginner's Guide to Camping

Most outdoor enthusiasts understand the allure of camping.  They appreciate the solitude, the chance to connect with nature, and power of unplugging from technology.  There is a certain primal satisfaction to be gained from disconnecting from the rest of the world, facing all that Mother Nature has to offer, and returning again a bit dirtier and maybe with a few more bumps and bruises.  They've gone off-grid, challenged the most wild and untamed parts of this world, and pushed themselves to go farther, climb higher, and stay longer.

This article is not for them.

For those of us who are relatively new to the idea of off-grid (no campgrounds and no amenities) camping, the idea is ... well, fairly daunting.  How do you get water?  Where do you go?  What do you bring?

Woman overlooking lake and mountains

Where should I go?

That's completely up to you, and by that I mean it's up to your skill level, location, preferences, and so on.  When choosing your destination, consider these questions:

  • How do you plan to get there?  Hiking?  Biking?  Boating?
  • What skills/limits do you have?  Mountain climbing?  White water rapids?  A mile walk?  Ten miles?
  • What temperature/weather conditions are you willing to handle?  Hot?  Cold?  Rain?
  • Who is coming with you and what are their capabilities/limits?
  • How long do you want to be gone?
  • How much are you willing to spend on food, permits, and any additional/specialized gear?

Answering these questions will help narrow down your list of possible destinations.  My go-to off-grid destinations are almost always National Parks/forests which cover thousands of acres, encompass varied terrains for all skill levels, and can be found in just about every climate.  Check with these websites for more information (including campground information for those who want to use them):

US National Forest Campground Guide

Government Recreation Site

US Forest Service

Tents on mountain overlooking lake

What should I bring?

There are too many variables to come up with a complete list, but this should provide you with a good start for your next camping expedition.

Shelter

Whether that means a tent, a camping hammock, or a rain fly stretched out between two trees, you are going to need somewhere to sleep.  Other things to consider when choosing what type of shelter to bring include weather (temperature and precipitation), bugs (mosquitoes and sleep don't mix), and even wildlife (it's never fun to wake up with a snake in your sleeping bag).  If you are planning to carry your gear in, lightweight shelters are a must.  Also consider bringing some sort of compact, lightweight sleeping mat.  Rocks and tree roots start to feel like boulders and logs after a few minutes of sleeping on them.

Fish cooking on campfire

Food

If you are planning to fish or hunt (check for licensing requirements and seasons before doing either) for your food, that's fine, but what if you don't catch anything?  The fish don't care how hungry you are - if they don't want to bite, they're not going to bite.  How much room do you have for food?  How long are you going to be gone?  How strenuous will your daily activity be?  Answering these questions will help you determine how much and what to bring for meals.  Also consider how the meals will be prepared.  Are you going to have to cook?  How are you going to do it?  Cooking gear adds a lot of weight and takes up space, so consider your options carefully.

Water

How do you plan to get water?  Bringing it along may not be an issue if you can drive directly to where you plan to camp, but in many situations that isn't possible.  Water is heavy, bulky, and necessary.  If you are planning to use water you find (even water from campground spigots), it needs to be treated first.  There are many options including chemical tablets (remember to wait the recommended time before drinking/adding flavoring), water filtration systems, and boiling the water (for at least five minutes and make sure to cool before drinking).

Compass and map

Safety Gear

This includes basic first aid equipment, compass/GPS, a knife or multi-tool, maps (digital and paper), a cell phone or other communication device, and so on.  Waterproof matches and/or a lighter are always a good idea, even if you're not camping near water - just be sure to check for any burn restrictions in your area.  Again, where and when you go will help determine which items are considered necessary.

Clothing

Consider the climate, terrain, and what you'll be doing.  How much room do you have?  What are potential weather concerns?  How long will you be gone?  Dressing in layers allows you to adjust for changes in temperature throughout the day and clothing that dries quickly is always good to have.  Don't forget to bring a change of clothes to leave in your car for the trip home - especially if your route out involves water travel.

Hiker, mountain gear

Camping Plan

It is always a good idea to have an emergency contact with all of your information including where you will be staying, the route you will take to get in/out, any day trips (hiking, biking, boating) that you plan to make, and when you'll be leaving/returning.  Make sure to bring a copy with you and include any safety phone numbers (forest service, local police, etc) on it.  When the trip is over and you've returned home, make sure to notify your emergency contact that you made it back.

Stillwater Outdoors invites you to join our email list to get free information on camping, water sports and safety, and more.

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Destination Spotlight: Clear Lake

Destination Spotlight: Clear Lake

In honor of our military families, today we would like to showcase the Clear Lake Recreation Area.  It is designed to provide family fun for all active duty, retired military, active members of the Reserves, National Guard, DoD civilian employees, and their families.  The 34 acre recreation area is along the shore of Clear Lake, which spans nearly 337 acres and is over 100 feet deep.  The Recreation Area is located at South 14824 Clear Lake Road, Cheney, WA.

If you're not associated with any military branch, don't fret.  Clear Lake is easily accessible thanks to the public boat launch (on the same road) near the south end of the lake.

Map view of Clear Lake Recreation Area and Clear Lake Public Boat Launch

I am always impressed by how much they have to offer.  Besides an extensive list of rental items (ski boats, paddle boats, SUPs and kayaks, fishing gear, and far more), there is also a large playground, several picnic acres with grills for cooking, a swimming area, docks for securing your boat, and camping spaces whether you bring a tent, RV, or stay in one of their cabins or yurt.

There are three reasons why my family and I keep returning to this particular spot again and again ...

1.  It's rarely busy.

This is, of course, rather subjective.  Although many of the camping areas fill up quickly, the beach, grassy areas, and the lake itself aren't usually crowded.  We last went to Clear Lake on Memorial Day weekend and expected it to be chaotic, especially since we got there later than expected.  We were pleasantly surprised to find no competition for a nice grassy area down near the water, had plenty of time to set up our stuff for the day, and got our boat launched and docked all with minimal frustration.  And when we got out onto the water?  There were a few fishing boats scattered around, but even so there was ample room to cruise the water at speed without bothering anyone.

Clear Lake Recreation Area, Playground Equipment

2. There is something for everyone.

My daughter loves the playground and beach and will gladly spend all day digging in the sand if we let her.  My husband likes to cruise around on the boat or PWC and recently learned how to wakeboard while on Clear Lake.  I prefer the challenge of man-powered vessels and spend most of my time on an SUP or kayak.  Whatever your preference, Clear Lake Recreation Area has something for you.  And if you don't own it, don't worry.  They have a surprising number of watercraft available for rent and include boater safety training with each motorized rental. 

Clear Lake, Stand-up Paddleboard, SUP

On most lakes, I am often forced to deal with speeding boats and thoughtless drivers who rarely consider how their wake or proximity might bother a nearby SUP.  Clear Lake offers a very large no-wake zone, well beyond what would be necessary for safety alone.  Because of this, Clear Lake is an ideal spot for anyone wishing to learn how to SUP, kayak, or canoe.  There's little chance for tipping when the boats putt along from the launch toward the north end of the lake.  This area is also a haven for many water birds, so keep watch as you coast along the shore.

No wake zone, Clear Lake

3. They offer more than just water fun.

During the first Saturday of May, they offer a Kid's Fishing Derby which allows kids between 5 and 14 the chance to fish on the lake.  For $10, the kids get a t-shirt, a fishing rod, and can keep up to three trout that they catch.

Those looking to challenge themselves on another level should consider registering for the Clear Lake Triathlon.  Registration is from June 6th to July 18th with the big event happening on July 21st.  Complete a 500 M swim, 15 M bike, and 5 K run as an individual competitor or build a team of three and have a different person complete each part.

Does anyone out there not like a good movie?  Well, probably some one, but for those of you who are looking for something to do on a warm summer night, check out their free movie nights.  The gate will remain open late, allowing you to settle in with free s'mores and hot dogs (while supplies last) while watching a family-friendly movie. 

For those of you who may be interested in visiting, check out Fairchild's website for more information.

Public Boat Launch

Clear Lake Public Boat Launch

Keep in mind, the Clear Lake Recreation Area is for our military families only, but that doesn't mean that non-military families can't enjoy the lake itself.  Clear Lake offers a public boat launch (use requires a Discover Pass) on the south end.  From here, you can access the extensive no-wake zone for those with man-powered vessels or take your motorized boat beyond it if you want to pull skiers, wakeboarders, or just cruise the lake.

Note: Stillwater Outdoors received nothing for posting this and is not affiliated with the Clear Lake Recreation Area or the Fairchild Airforce Base in any way.  Our only purpose was to offer our readers a short review of a local lake and recreational area.

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