Buena Vista Park


Wave Description:

The Buena Vista Park has been revised and expanded to include 5 distinct features, and has something to offer surfers in most water levels.

Uptown Wave

The upper hole is a fairly friendly wave, and flows of 425-1000 cfs is maybe the friendliest levels, with a nice recovery pool.  It is located just upstream of the Midland Trail Bridge at the end of E. Main St. The boat ramp provides easy access to large eddies and can be busy with rafters putting in and taking out.

Staircase Wave

This friendly surf wave is located 1/4 mile downstream from the Uptown Hole, near the Buena Vista Community Center and walk down the stairs to the river. It has a good recovery pool, and may be the best surf wave in BV, particularly for paddleboards. Optimal flow is 300-2000 cfs.

Pocket Wave

A challenging feature below the eddies and smaller skills features in the park. Optimal flows 500-2000 cfs. This is slated to see improvements in 2023 or 2024, with the hopeful creation of a wave along the lines of Salida’s Scout 2.0.


At the South Main Town Square you’ll find the downtown wave/hole. Lower flows are friendlier flows for surfing, as things become more hole-like at higher flows. Good eddies on both sides help things along. Best for surfing from 300-1000 cfs, and turns into a significant hole above 2,000.

Lodo Wave

A dynamic wave near the South Main Town Square. Flows around 600-1600 are probably best for surfers; above that things start to get pretty spicy, and you start to risk getting washed into the rapids below.

Gauge Information:

Different features come into their own at different flows, but keep an eye on the Arkansas River Below Granite gauge to keep tabs on things. Overall, 300+ will get you something.

For photos of the waves at specific flows, check out the River Surf Report. You can get some beta from the surf hotel’s webcam here.

Want flow alerts for this gauge? Sign up here.
USGS Water-data graph for site 06710247


You can access the river by driving straight through BV and stopping when you hit the river. You can also drive down to the South Main area, where other parking lots and the Eddyline Brewing Company await.