Gunnison Whitewater Park

Gunnison, Colorado


  • Inspection of failing structures and development of a replacement plan
  • Assistance with grant writing for fundraising
  • Stakeholder/user outreach
  • Assistance with permitting, including with CWA 303 Construction dewater and stormwater erosion sediment control
  • Preliminary & Final design
  • Construction inspection and administration
  • Startup & Tuning

The Gunnison Whitewater Park site had a failed whitewater feature (done by others) that needed replacing. We worked with Gunnison County, as well as local paddling and fishing communities, to develop a design that provided fish and downriver boating passage, in addition to diverse whitewater recreation. Due to the urgent need to correct the public safety problem that was the original failed whitewater feature, the project was designed and built in just six months.

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Key Project Highlights

  • Waves designed for lower flows allow a longer recreation season
  • Tuneable design to achieve precise hydraulics needed for play boating and river surfing
  • Separate flow paths to the side of the whitewater features provide roughened channel fish passage and an open, straightforward path for drift boats at high flows
  • Designed, permitted, and constructed in just six months
  • Now hosts the annual Gunnison River Festival

River Run Park

“I want to thank you guys again because this feature is perfect for our community.  Multiple people have told me that the wave makes them feel like a much better boater than they are, it has greater play potential while being super forgiving for beginners…” 

Josh Stupka, Sponsorship Coordinator, Gunnison River Festival

“I had a chance to take a look at the completed project with Matt, and felt that the project was well done.  We appreciate the opportunity to work with you on incorporating ideas to improve fish passage at various river stages on this project.  Thanks for taking the time to address our concerns and to discuss potential solutions through the very shortened design period.” 

Dan Brauch, Aquatic Biologist, Colorado Parks & Wildlife