Gunnison Park


Wave Description:

The Gunnison Whitewater Park has a pair of features whose character varies significantly with water levels, but at most flows over 300 you’ll be able to find something to surf on a high-volume SUP. Things improve quite a bit around 600 cfs, and across the board, higher is going to be better. Shortboarding gets to be a blast over 1,000. Gunnison also tends to keep surfable flows late into the summer and fall, and has a significantly longer season than many of the Front Range waves.

The third wave will surf down to 300 or so, but improves significantly around 600, and then gets choppy around 850. From 900 to 1,200 CFS is a bit of a dead zone, with not a ton going on, but the second wave gets going around 1,300 and keeps improving until 3,500 or 4,000, and gets kind of choppy and surgy after that. Around 2,500 it turns riverwide and is drop-in only after 1700 or so (you can’t hit it from the eddies anymore).

If it’s high, be mindful of the swim out, as the rocky boat passages right and left can beat you up, and leave you swimming through a big hole dead center. Swim hard to avoid other obstacles downstream of the park.

If you’re dealing with low flows, check out the first feature above the parking lot down to 200 or so, but it’s shallow so make sure to wear a helmet and watch your falls. It gets nasty around 1,000 and starts to fill with kayakers; avoid over 2,500.

Gauge Information:

Gunnison near Gunnison provides an accurate gauge; look for flows over 300 cfs.

For photos of the waves at specific flows, check out the River Surf Report.

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USGS Water-data graph for site 06710247


Easy directions; park at the Gunnison Whitewater Park, and the features should be right there.