Spots McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group

Published on May 3rd, 2015 | by PhilB

Photo by McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group |  0

Gunny Wave

The “Gunny Wave” is a river wave at the Gunnison Whitewater Park located in the river, town, and county of the same name. The wave was completed by McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group (MWDG) in a project to improve a safety issue in late 2013.

“Through our work with the boating community,” notes engineer Ben Nielsen, “the new feature will be a great place to surf for hours, even at low flows. When we opened it up the level was 600 cfs (cubic feet per second) which is pretty low, but when we were able to board surf and play boat it easily, everyone was super excited. Being able to utilize the park at low river levels will extend its season, and therefore increase its value to the community.”

The wave is a great place to surf for hours, even at low flows.

MWDG was called in to improve a safety issue in late 2013, and helped the County formulate a plan to replace one particular feature so that it would require little or no maintenance. Funding was granted in December, 2014 and MWDG designed and bid the project in January, 2015: construction started right away due to the importance of improving river safety, and the project was completed in March.

Gunnison County project manager John Messner notes, “It is important to have turned this feature into an asset. It makes me really happy to know we made it happen in the short timeframe – in fact, with a bit of time to spare. Credit goes to those who that supported the project with time, energy and funding, besides of course the McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group: Gunnison County, City of Gunnison, Great Outdoors Colorado, 1% for Open Space, the  Gunnison River Festival, Western State University, and the Colorado Water Conservation District.”

Spot Details

Country: USA, North America
Nearest town/city: Gunnison
River: Gunnison River
Address: Gunnison Whitewater Park Gunnison, CO 81230
Directions: The Gunnison Whitewater Park is less than a mile east of Gunnison City on Hwy 50. Take U.S 50 east from Gunnison and take a left just after crossing over the river (there is a big sign).
Latitude: 38.5320625
Longitude: -106.9501801

Wave Details


On the photo above the river is low but the wave is super fun. It gets much bigger at higher flows.

River Gauge

Detailed Flow Data

Gunnison Weather Forecast

Today Monday Tuesday
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 7:00 PM MST on December 17, 2017
Partly Cloudy


It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on December 18, 2017


It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on December 19, 2017


Spot Location

More on Gunny Wave

Gunnison Whitewater Park on Facebook

Gunnison River Festival

Gunnison River Festival on Facebook

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Phil is a passionate riversurfer based in the capital of urban hydro power, Graz / Austria. He graduated from the International University for Riversurfing (IUR) in 2008 before he got married (to PhilK) in 2009. Instead of children, they gave birth to the probably most awesome riversurfing magazine on the planet: Riverbreak.

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