South Platte River - Union Whitewark Park



Though it can be difficult to find sufficient flows through this whitewater park, it's a great place for Denver beginner boaters to refine their skills and at high flows offers up a powerful wavehole of the variety that is difficult to find on the Colorado Front Range.  The park feels very industrial and if the winds are blowing right offers whiffs of the waste treatment facility across the street.  However, the water quality benefits from being on the southern end of the city and is significantly better than the Confluence park further downstream.  Even at medium flows there are sharp and swirly eddylines running through the largely artificial riverbed.  Beginners have been warned.  I once saw a guy come up with a bloody face after being dragged over the contrete slab forming one of the drops.  There was even a swimmer who died somewhere in the park, though the exact details remain fuzzy.

At low to modern flows the first hole offers a retentive ledge hole that even amateur playboaters can turn some tricks in.  The next hole is an oddly narrow hole with squirrely water behind it called Hollywood Hole.  It can be a fun spot to throw down in for boaters with a confident roll, but be careful at high water.  The next unnamed hole is less retentative but offers some good front surfing opportunity.  The hole below is totally forgettable at normal flows but somewhere around 1500-2000cfs and above, it lives up to it's name "Hawaii-Five-O" and becomes the signature feature in the park.  Good playboaters can throw almost any trick in there.  The next hole can offer some fun surfing.  Several hundred yards down beyond a corner lie another couple worthy playspots at high water.  


Class III to IV
Current Flow 943.0 CFS
05-18-2024 12:45
Recommended Flow Minimum: 200.0
Average: 750.0
Maximum: 3000.0
Typical Season Begins: April
Ends: July
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: No
Canoeing: No
Packrafting: No
Fishing: No
Length 0.33 Mile(s)
Gradient FPM