Boise Whitewater Park

Boise, Idaho


  • Conceptual Alternatives
  • Hydraulic Modeling: Physical Model, Flood Modeling
  • Stakeholder and Public Engagement
  • Preliminary and Final Design
  • Construction Phase Support

The portion of the Boise River that runs through downtown Boise was once a neglected section of river with a dangerous irrigation dam. That’s why the Boise River Recreation and Management Plan was developed with the Friends of the Park and state and federal natural resources agencies to revitalize this stretch of the river.

We worked closely with the City of Boise to design an iconic whitewater park that promotes both land-based recreation and whitewater activities, while also improving river health and restoring wildlife habitat. Using our patented WaveShaper adjustable wave technology, we transformed the area and reconnected the community to the river. The park is now a significant economic driver for the area, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

This park is a working irrigation diversion that has iconic waves consistent all year long created using our patented WaveShaper adjustable wave technology.

Boise Whitewater Park
Boise Whitewater Park
Boise Whitewater Park
Boise Whitewater Park

Key Project Highlights

  • World-class surf and kayak waves using WaveShaper adjustable technology
  • Ecological improvements, aquatic and riparian habitat improvements with boulder vanes, deep pools, revegetation of banks
  • Park spaces with trails, water accesses, bank terracing and spectator viewing areas
  • Reduce flood risk to surrounding community using an innovative flashboard design at the diversion that lowers automatically when river flows rise

Boise water park Idaho

“The River Recreation Park is playing a central role in the economic redevelopment of this area of Boise while increasing river safety and providing healthy recreation alternatives for the citizens of Boise. The McLaughlin Whitewater Design Team members have proven themselves to be innovative engineers capable of finding creative solutions to various design challenges.”

Tom Governale, Former Superintendent of Parks, Boise Parks and Recreation