Whitewater Parks for the River Surfer
Here’s your list of whitewater parks across the U.S. that are known to be good for river surfing. If we’ve missed a park please feel free to let us know in the comments below and we’d be happy to add it. Keep in mind that just because these parks are man-made it does not necessarily mean they are safe. Always wear a lifejacket and helmet when recreating in the river.
Glenwood Springs (Colorado River)
Location: 2302 Midland Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO
Details: Great for both shortboard and SUP. Is best at 10,000 CFS and up. It is a river wide feature with surfable waves on both the river right and river left side.
Eagle (Eagle River Whitewater Park)
Location: 200 Fairgrounds Rd, Eagle, CO 81631
Details: They’ve just finished phase II of this park and it will officially open Memorial day weekend of 2019. No details yet!
Denver (North Platte River)
Location: River Run Park 2101 W Oxford Ave, Sheridan, CO 80110
Gauge: South Platte Below Union
Details: One adjustable feature best for shortboards and one static feature great for beginners and stand up paddle boards. New features are being put in as we speak!
Pueblo (Arkansas River)
Location: Latitude: 38.26684492803721 Longitude: -104.62262304680479
Gauge: Arkansas at Moffat Street gauge
Details: Best flows at 600–800 cfs and above. Great for both SUP and shortboards.
Florence (Arkansas River)
Location: 121 Co Rd 119, Florence, CO 81226
Gauge: Portland Colorado
Details: 450+ CFS and great for high volume shortboards and SUP.
Montrose (Uncompahgre River)
Location: 210 Apollo Rd, Montrose, CO 81401
Details: Between the six features there is always something to surf, even at very low levels. There are many drainages for irrigation below the closest gauge so the reading on USGS is not usually correct. Visit this site for estimated flows provided by the city.
Gunnison (Gunnison River)
Location: Corner of Hwy 50 and Co Rd 38
Gauge: Gunnison near Gunnison
Details: 600 CFS is when you can start surfing it on a high volume SUP. But 1,000+ CFS is when it starts getting good…the higher the better.
Golden (Clear Creek)
Location: 1201 10th St, Golden, CO 80401
Gauge: Clear Creek at Golden
Details: Best flows 500-1,000+. Surfable on high volume shortboards and SUPS.
Buena Vista (Arkansas River)
Location: 922 South Main Street
Gauge: Arkansas River Below Granite gauge
Details: Best surf feature is the Staircase wave. It’s 1/4 mile downstream of the first feature Uptown wave located near the Community Center. Best flows are from 300-2,000CFS.
Salida (Arkansas River)
Location: River Side Park
Gauge: Nathrop gauge
Details: The best feature for surfing in this park is the Scout Wave which is the last feature in the park. 500+ cfs it will start to become surfable but starts to become fun at 1,000+.
Durango (Animas River)
Location: Santa Rita Park 149 S Camino Del Rio
Gauge: Animas at Durango
Details: Just about every feature in this park is surfable at different flows. 500 CFS and up something will be surfable, over 1,000 is when you’ll start seeing more shortboards out there.
Pagosa Springs (San Juan River)
Location: 350 Pagosa St
Details: There is not a lot of details out there on this park. We’d say, if you’re passing through it’s worth stopping and scoping it out.
Boise (Boise River)
Location: 607 N Whitewater Park Blvd
Webcam & Gauge: https://www.boisewhitewaterpark.com/waveshaper-cam
Details: This is an adjustable feature. They alternate between a kayak hole and a surf wave. Click here for the schedule.
Cascade (Payette River)
Location: Kelly’s Whitewater Park
Guage: North Fork of the Payette at Cascade
Details: Best flows are 2,000+ but if you’re not picky and have a high volume board there are always little ankle biters to surf.
Reno (Truckee River)
Location: Wingfield Park, 2 S Arlington Ave.
Details: At 300 CFS you’ll get little ankle biter waves, great for beginners. From 2,000+ you’ll get some waist high surf!
Bend (Deschutes River)
Location: 166 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr
Details: This feature is an adjustable feature and is always catered to the river surfer. Flow range is from 200-1,000+.
San Marcos (San Marcos River)
Location: Rio Vista Whitewater Park 555 Cheatham St
Gauge: San Marcos Rv at San Marcos, TX (Flow range 100-400)
Details: This is a park designed for lower flows, you will have the most success on higher volume boards.
Missoula (Clark Fork River)
Location: Brennan’s Wave Milwaukee Trail, Caras Park
Details: There’s something to surf from 900+ CFS but the best is 6,000 and up!
Charles City (Cedar River)
Location: 106 Chapel Ln
Details: 700-9000cfs+ this wave is best with high volume surf boards.
Johnstown (Stonycreek River)
Location: Green House Rd
Details: Small waves but a great beginner spot for stand up paddling.