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Old 03-14-2005   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11
Pueblo Whitewater Park is open

The new whitewater park in Pueblo is open and looking good. It's between 4th Street and Union Ave. on the Ark. Eight drops over half a mile. I was there on Friday with some of the Pueblo paddlers who helped get it going -- give thanks to Bob Walker who owns the Edge paddle shop in town, and asst. fire chief/Pueblo paddlers pres. John Zupancic.

Very nice at 600 cfs -- a lot of wide, even holes sorta like Salida. Easy spins and low-angle stuff. Nothing as good as BV now, but maybe at higher water. Long, deep pools between the drops, too. The Pueblo guys said the features were working at 300 the day before and even looked boatable at 100, which would mean the park will be working year-round. Supposedly, the city has been promised 500 cfs all through summer (March 15-Aug. 15 anyway), with four weekends of guaranteed 1000 cfs.

Go to or for better directions and more info.

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Old 03-15-2005   #2
Socratic Philosopher
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 69
Pueblo Whitewater Park Good to Go (618cfs)

A cigar touting Groucho Marx greets you as you huff down the bike path with boat on shoulder, “Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.” Groucho quips. You may be tempted to call this the Pueblo WW Hike & Play, but try not to gripe too much, or you’ll be out of breath. You’re not at work today, and it’s not Chukar trail.

The water March 12, 2005 is 48 degrees and 618cfs (ARKMOFCO ). Nice. The sun is shining brilliantly and there are a dozen or so boaters here this afternoon. The main river features are finished, but the landscaping is not in yet, so it is concrete, boulders, earth movers, and dirt for today. The scene is urban and industrial, but the water is clean and fresh. So, crank up the Groove Salad and get in the mood.

Here is a brief description of the features. There is a levy that is dramatically painted with large oversized murals. Each one tells its own story. So, I will describe the features by the major mural close to that drop. You can always count them on your fingers, one, two…

#1 Harpo
First feature is where the diversion dam used to be, congratulations to the Corps of Engineers for removing that hideous impediment and replacing it with an environmentally friendly fish ladder, which serendipitously serves as a kayaking feature.

The feature is a long green wave. As you approach, a large skull mural greets your descent. Once past the two guardian rock posts, a smashing crescendo of excitement begins. When you roll back up, an insane clown is staring down on you, giggling and laughing like some nightmarish carnival ride.

#2 Marley Wave
The Second feature is a playful, laid back wave with the ganja smile of Bob Marley looking over you. “One Love, one love, let’s get together and feel alright.” This feature is a feel alright wave. It gives you time to warm up the mind and muscles and feeling aright.

#3 Grim Reaper
You will be sharing the working class third feature with the Grim Reaper and Karl Marx. Get to work for the masses on this wave. It is fun, retentive, a hint of floral and fruit, and a sweet spot to keep you working all afternoon. Just be sure your boss doesn’t see you.

#4 Paddlers Hole
The Forth feature has new mural in the making by the Pueblo Paddlers The artwork is a photo of two Pueblo Paddlers giving the OK on the drop. Special thanks to Bob Walker, John Zupanic, Gary Lacy, and Pueblo Paddlers Club for their vision, dream, patience, and direction in getting this park completed. A long haul, 1997 to 2005, it has ended with fantastic results. Thanks guys! This wave may be difficult to catch from river right, but easy to hit on center.

#5 Sisters
The Fifth feature is mild, glassy, and retentive. Long rides, carving turns, side surf, and flat spins can be attained here. Above you, as you play, are a faint mural of two young kids. You can’t see it from the wave, but on the walk up, it is quite impressive. Take a look.

#6 Troubled Waters
The Sixth feature is very similar to the one described above. It is near several mosaic type drawings. The fifth and sixth holes may be a place to start if you are new to playboating and surfing. Beware: If you turn off your mind, and float downstream, the seventh hole is a mighty surprise!

#7 Soul Keeper
The Seventh feature is located under various psychedelic paintings. This feature already has a reputation. With several swimmers to its credit, and a broken paddle as well, the feature is fast, narrower, steep and very retentive, enough so to be called “sticky”. Hit it river left to check it out first. A recent swimmer described this drop as a long lesson in breathless paddling. While Train Spotting, if you flip and breathe with the fishes, it will let you go, but only after serious psychedelic experience.

#8 Corn Goddess
The Eighth feature is below a long poem on guilt. It has a mellow surf wave on either side. Get out before the Union Bridge, because after that, it is a snooze float. If you decide to nap all the way to the Santa Fe bridge, there is an unfinished diversion dam drop there, be careful, I don’t think anyone runs it.

The Pueblo Whitewater Park is a small section of 9 miles of river restoration work in the Arkansas River Corridor Legacy Project. You will be able to float from below Lake Pueblo Dam (Class II) through the WW Park to the Santa Fe Bridge. If you run the whole stretch, there is a low head dam hazard at Pueblo Blvd Bridge, it is suggested to portage.

The Official Grand Opening of the Pueblo Whitewater Park is May 6-7-8, 2005. Kayak equipment reps. will be down for demos and the pros will be there to show off their stuff. Paddle Magazine is going to do a story at the festival. For more information, contact Bob Walker at Edge, Ski, & Paddle, 107 N. Union Avenue, Pueblo (719) 583-2021.

The hardest part is finding the put-in parking lot. There are some one way streets, so pay attention to the traffic signs.

Take I-25 South to Pueblo, take the 1rst Street exit, go west on 1rst to Union turn left, follow Union up and across the river (Union Street Bridge) to Corona St. turn right, follow Corona along the course and take the first right (no street sign?), stay right and follow the street around the bend, stay right and then down a hill to a dirt parking lot. Look for kayakers.

You can get there from Forth Street as well, West 4th St until you cross the river and turn left on Chappa.

(4/3/2005, EDITED w/ corrected names of the freatures & directions -eg)

-el gordo

Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late. The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder. I'm an over forty victim of fate.
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Old 03-15-2005   #3
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Hey Gordo, we said pictures! Get a camera and take pictures.
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Old 03-15-2005   #4
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
On second thought, forget the pictures and take down the directions. Lets call this the P-Wave and lets let everyone know that its great but tell everyone to stay away and even let the P-wave star in a few videos but it will be our secret. Everyone from lets say my house in Colorado Springs to Pueblo can know about it but no one else. So everyone else, just move along, nothing to see here.
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Old 03-15-2005   #5
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DP - cinematographer, Boulder
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Close up picts of some drops would be great & the flow level of the pict.

thanks in advance

ps can you throw down @ 600 CFS?
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Old 03-16-2005   #6
Socratic Philosopher
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 69
Greg, you're right. I confess, those directions I gave are to an ugly irrigation ditch, called Bessemer Ditch (B-Wave). I had to do it. I can't tell you where the P-Wave is because of second descent rights. But, here is a picture of the nasty drop you were looking for. Maybe you can tell the location. HINT: It is located somewhere south of WY and east of I-25, but not as far as MOAB.

Wicked #7 hole

Also, the first feature is Harpo, not an insane clown. My bad. Got to go for now, loading up on Marx Bros movies for tonight.
Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late. The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder. I'm an over forty victim of fate.
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Old 03-18-2005   #7
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 51

When this thread started it looked like they were letting about 600cfs go from the reservoir but it has stepped back down to 100 now. Any guesses if or when they will bump that back up again?
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Old 04-03-2005   #8
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2
The Pueblo Course looked great today running right at 200cfs earlier, now I see its about 175. Everybody was having a great time....some new pictures are at See you there I'm gonna boat Monday probably around 1:00pm

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