Canyon Doors

Canyon Doors

Wave Description:

Canyon Doors is the first significant rapid on the ever-popular Brown’s Canyon (now a National Monument!), and at flows over 1400 cfs it starts to form a solid surf wave. Eddy service isn’t fantastic, but it’s okay on river left. Access is the major problem. Brown’s is pretty secluded, so you won’t be able to park your car next to the wave and waltz down to it. And at these flows, Brown’s starts to weigh in on the easier side of Class IV (and that’s real Class IV, not inflated-for-commercial-rafters class IV). So shortboarders will probably need to catch a ride on a raft on one of the most heavily rafted stretches of rivers in the U.S. And if you’re planning on paddleboarding the run, make sure your river-running skills are up to snuff.

Gauge Information:

Arkansas near Nathrop is an accurate gauge for this section; look for something over 1400 cfs.

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USGS Water-data graph for site 07091200


Hitch a ride on a raft or paddle yourself down to the entrance of Brown’s Canyon Proper; I’m not aware of any feasible access via land.