Truckee River (Reno Whitewater Park)
|Stretch:||Park and Play|
|Flows:||500-?,000+ cfs. Current Dreamflows gauge|
|Parking:||Island St. off of Arlington St.|
|Season:||Spring and Summer from Rain/Snowmelt|
I just noticed that I didn't have a write-up for the Reno Whitewater Park even though I first went there in 2004. Weird. Probably because my first experience there was less than fun. After a long night with friends, I went to the park to occupy myself on a single valentine's day. After an hour or so, the hangover began to creep up on me when I decided I should get into the eddy because of oncoming nausea. Sure enough, seconds later, with an audience of 20 people watching me boat, I lean over my boat and throw up. This was immediately followed by me losing my balance while still in my boat and flipping directly into the area I just threw up into. Needless to say, that was the end of my day. Ah to be young again...
Ok so... There is a park in Reno, it is very nice. The good channel (river left) has 5 play spots. I am not sure when the first one is good. I have been at the second one at flow flows when you can only do flat spins and at higher flows when cartwheels and the like are doable but it tends to still be too shallow for loops. The third wave is great at the middle flows when it has nice eddy service, isn't too flushy, and is plenty deep. At higher flows around 3,000 I thought the wave was a bit too flushy, but then again the pros have no problem so perhaps that is reflective of how bad of a playboater I am. The only other wave I have enjoyed is the 5th wave just below the island. This wave is good at really low flows as well as higher flows. A big pile and fast water was making for some big tricks though most of mine were just holding on to whatever the river gave me after I put one end down.
The river right channel is used for slalom and I don't remember it being any good for playboating at the lower flows. At higher flows there was one nice little hole in the middle. In total, the area is interesting. Literally in the middle of downtown Reno, you have casino and street lights illuminating the river enough to play into the night. On top of that, you have a steady stream of spectators watching you enjoy the river. During summer months (when the water is fairly low) the park is a favorite of tubers who swim down the drops.
Parking: From Highway 80, take the Downtown Reno / Virginia St exit. Turn right on N. Sierra St. Continue until you cross the river and take the first right on Island Ave. Follow this for 0.2 miles to a park on your left that has parking.
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