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Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

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Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by afaust on Fri 22 Oct 2010, 4:27 pm

Dear Utah Rivers Community,
The purpose of this post is to generate ideas, discussion, and support for developing a new play park in Utah. I have been thinking about this quite a bit over the summer, however I am still new at putting together this type of a proposal. If you have suggestions, guidance, or insight please post it.

Here in Utah our play feature options are severely limited as many of you know. Close to home we have the Riverdale wave if flows are perfect, Croyden wave which is fairly bony and good for very little besides front surfing. Then of course the Ogden play park of rocky death. The top feature is good for front surfs and spins the second feature isn't good for much of anything and the third feature is good for a long side surf if you get bored at the top hole. I have never been at to the OPP at high water so it might improve then, but that places it in the same boat as the Riverdale wave with a very short window of playability.

We need some place that has consistent flows throughout the season or we will run into the same issues as riverdale and opp again. The two places I have in mind would be on the Provo river or on the Weber.

Provo:
To my knowledge the water between Deer creek dam and the dam just above the put in for the Bridal Veil section maintains fairly consistent flows throughout early spring until late fall. The run right now has a few riffles in it and is usually home to tubers and small rafts. The location I was thinking is right around where the tubers normally take out. There are already parking facilities there and the gradient just above the bridge seems to be enough that a feature or two could be built there or in the general area.


Weber:
The bottom of Taggart falls seems the most prime location to me personally although there may be other places that could work well. The parking there is a plus and it would be nice to finally get some improvements in there (i.e. browntown 2.0)

http://cksblog.com/?p=3835
The above link contains an interview that Colorado Kayak Supply did with Mike Harvey. He is one of the main park builders or at least works for one of the main park builders in the country. There is some good info in the interview about benefits aside from just play features. There goal seems to be improving river access for everyone (ie tubers, kayakers, fisherman).

http://www.elkhorncity.org/node/74
This is a sample feasibility study from another river.

http://blackhillspaddlers.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=10&Itemid=37
This link has a loooong promo vid about the benefits of a whitewater park for a community. Did I mention its long? Still a good vid though.

The Plan:
1) Input from the paddling community
2) Research the process of funding and building a ww park
3) ??? suppose it depends on the what we learn about the process
4) Feasibility and environmental impact reports to lobby with
5) Funding
6) Permits
7) Finalize design and build park
Cool profit Smile


So... Tell me your thoughts?

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by RobA on Sat 23 Oct 2010, 3:22 pm

Hey A,

It seems like Paddler magazine had a big article about the process of getting a play park built. I could dig that up and get it to you if you'd like to see it.

Your idea of a spot on the provo is a good one as far as water duration is concerned. I assume that you are talking about below the second train bridge and not the Vivian park bridge. I don't think that is part of Provo City any more so I'm not sure where to turn for partners. I think that the river left bank is private property.

I've been thinking about enhancing the area around night lite on the lower town section, cutting the brush back, building service and recovery eddies, deepening the hole to be more roll friendly. I think that spot has some potential.

Another place that I think would be good is by Paul Reams Wilderness park. Lots of parking, trails on both sides of the river, park and facilities.

Where those areas are in the city limits the city and or parks department might be interested in helping out. Water window is an issue. If it could be playable down to 60 cfs then window wouldn't be a problem.

It seems like Shannon Finch did a survey and some research about a play park on the Provo. You should talk to her and see where she is with her efforts.

Rob-
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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by wasatchbill on Sat 23 Oct 2010, 10:55 pm

Hi afaust,
Good thoughts; please post some contact info.

In some paddler-friendly future, picture: Very Happy legal parking at Croyden wave, an improved feature, bike path from Taggart to Croyden. Legal parking at the Eggs takeout, improved features in each Eggs drop- picture 3 Riverdale waves back to back, only bigger; more features possible every 100 feet in the Eggs bend and below; a river-long bike path, facilitating bike shuttles, from Riverdale all the way up Weber Canyon, connecting to the Snowbasin mtn bike trail system. Access and parking at the class III+/IV- putin below the Eggs drops.

Eggs takeout dam is dangerous; there's a prime spot for a multi-drop park. The 2 drops below 89, below the interstate bridge (that are so hard to catch now), could be great with some work. Unitas drop could have a big feature; likewise for slides one and two.

Taggart is heavily used; but heck, sure, improve that wave; why not? This is a utopian paddling world I'm talking about :-). Could do something on Taggart right also, and make the center left hole less retentive at high water (it gets dangerous now).

South Fork Ogden could have one or more surf waves, esp if it flowed at 100cfs, or 80; there is a great spot at that right bend with a concrete wall on the right; scenic up there; it runs into the summer (at 100cfs for awhile anyway), when the Ogden below Pineview can be shut down.

Below Pineview could have more features; one kinda washed out in the residential part, Narrows lead-in has a wave worth looking at. Lower Narrows above the hot springs; that surf wave could be improved. Rainbow Gardens could have a dozen surf waves. The Dino wave could be lengthened out into a front surf.

Just a few little projects alien
Bill
wasatchbill at comcast dot net

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novel idea

Post by Augie on Sun 24 Oct 2010, 7:06 pm

How about this for a novel idea? Why not fix the park at OPP to be more focused. The city put a lot of money into the observation deck last year but I think they believe that once a park is built it will not need maintenance on the features. Someone with a trackhoe and a load of rock can make all 3 features very playable in a couple days. They could even put in a fourth feature downstream with the drop that the river has there. It is close to a lot of paddlers and if it was better focused it would work at low flows also. I have seen what can be done with 300cfs in Reno and it is amazing if the river stays focused.
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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by brianteats on Mon 25 Oct 2010, 11:28 am

Improvements on OPP would be a nice solution; probably most realistic. We already have a 'perfect wave' to model after in the Riverdale Wave- With phenomenal surfing at high flows, and a super friendly and fun wave at low flows. It'd be nice to have the deeper OPP pools for safer rolling at low flows, which RW doesn't have right now. Or keep OPP the way it is and just dig out the reberbed behind RW(cheapest solution). Either way is a great improvement. The emmidiate community at both is less than desirable(I've seen car break-ins at both parks), dunno how to change that, though.
Of course, to try accommodating the greater Salt Lake area; (how's Howard's Hole lately, BTW?) Converting that dam at the Mouth of Weber Canyon into a rockin' park would be pretty shweet. It'd be a slightly shorter drive, and more accessible for construction equipment than up in the canyon. The Jordan river has plenty of other diversion dam locations that could be 'transformed', also.
Regarding Provo, there's two sizable diversion dams, right there in town, where either would made good locations for a park. I believe they're mirror images of what OPP looked like before construction.
The Ogden River doesn't see enough flow for an official park, IMHO. Sure it gets some runoff for a few weeks, and a consistant 100-200 cfs through the summer. But, would you spend 6 digits to build a park with that kind of water flow? I wouldn't. Besides, the new river rejuvenation construction is resulting in a few play features. I was on them at around 200cfs this spring; they're nothing spactacular, but it might make it worth while to float down right past Wall Ave (where they're still building). Time will tell, I guess.
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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by HoBag on Mon 25 Oct 2010, 7:24 pm

I would be worried that the failures in Ogden could pose as a detriment to a potential park elsewhere in Utah. Based upon that I agree with Augie that improvements to the O-town park would be a good place to start. Perhaps somebody with enough motivation and spare time, I have neither, could do a little research on communities that have successful parks. Reno, Salida, Buena Vista, Golden, Steamboat, Green River, etc. What makes them successful? What maintenance and how much is spent annually to maintain the parks? How do those communities benefit from shmo kayakers? Utah is not exactly a kayak destination unlike these other communities, so what works there may not work here. But it would be a good place to start.
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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by wasatchbill on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 11:29 am

I thought that observation deck was donated; what did the city put into it? Sorry, OPP is still ugly. Sure, it would be great to have the Reno features there; go for it.
BTW, Riverdale needs maintenance (every wave will need maintenance sooner or later); have you seen how far undercut the wave drop is? look (probe, wade, or dive) in the pool above the Riverdale wave drop, 20 feet upstream of the Riverdale wave. You could lose a boat under the concrete lip!!
Behind the wave should be dug deeper, so its safer to roll at low water. The shoulders could be improved, especially the river left, since that eddy sucks at medium levels; a better left shoulder would make the wave better at marginal levels too (1100).
Say afaust, if you haven't noticed yet, you will never get a consensus around here. alien

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by Cap'n RedBeard on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 1:00 pm

Ever thought about the mighty SF river, that section has gradient plus flows all year.

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by RobA on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 1:34 pm

Good point Justin.

Where do you think the best combo of gradient, access and parking would be?
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RobA

Post by afaust on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 3:34 pm

Thanks for the posts... please keep them coming.

Contact info... Anaironfaust AT gmail DOT com (Eight Zero One) 623-Eight 726

@Rob:
-I look forward to seeing that article from paddler magazine.

-Yes I was thinking of the area below the second train bridge. There is some private property on river right owned by a tubing company and river left is public property with parking lots, restrooms and a kiddy fishing pond. The flows seem steady there for a good portion of the summer and I believe there is enough gradient.

-I am not familiar with the other spots you mentioned on the Provo town section, but I believe a good feasibility report would review those areas as well. I would love to take a look at them with you if you have some time at the end of the week.

-It seems like a wise idea to try and find some place in town just for the sake of getting backing from the city itself. Is there enough gradient near the bridge on Geneva road? The provo trail goes by there and there is a KOA and Skate park as well as parking and maybe bathrooms.

-Do you have Shannon's contact info or can you give her mine?

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by Jeff Young on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 3:40 pm

I thought SF was being funneled into a pipe sometime soon? I would suggest having a sit down with Nick Turner and his Wife Crystal to get their input, since he's built parks and so has she I believe. She was working on a river improvement project on the Ogden River from Washington St down to the confluence with the Weber last I knew. Some sort of mild WW park for tubers and possibly one kayak feature if I remember our conversation correctly. She's also working on the parking issue at Howard's Hole.
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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by afaust on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 3:46 pm

@Bill:
-Contact info is listed above. Smile

-Sounds like you have a lot of awesome ideas about what and where to improve.

-Because the Weber river has such a large volume of users it might be one of the prime places to improve. The Provo section below Deer creek dam would be good for the same reason. We could likely develop more support from a frequently used section of river than some place generally only inhabited by kayakers or the occasional fishermen. We can likely come from the angle of improving the safety of the rapid for users, creating calm pools for the fishermen below the features all while developing a few new play spots.

-At least for now I think I would like to focus my efforts on park and play vs park and huck although I would love to see a park and huck developed more fully someday.

-A consensus will be difficult for sure. We all live in different places and have different ideas. Hopefully pooling together will create a community brainchild we can all stand behind while it is being pitched to the appropriate parties.

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by afaust on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 3:54 pm

@Augie:
-That sounds like a great idea and probably one of the easiest ways to improve playboating in our community.

-I live in Provo so working on OPP is slightly more difficult for me at the present. Technically trying to get something going for the Weber provides the same problem. Hence the reason I would love to get a park somewhere in Provo.

-Do you (or does anyone) know if Ogden has a budget to work with on improving the park? This would be a prime time to get going on it if there is a budget for such a thing. Does anyone have contact info or a friend that works with this part of the city administration?

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by afaust on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 4:15 pm

@Brian:
-Andy, Augie, and yourself all bring up great points. Sounds like working on OPP would be an awesome place to start. Also sounds like Riverdale wave needs some work.

-Where is Howard's hole? Sad

@Andy:
-Great points.

-I will start making some calls and doing some reading and see what I can find to answer your questions.

@Justin:
-Yeah I have thought about the spanish fork and at the beginning of the summer was trying to think of a reason to do it there. I think it could be a good place especially since it flows from early spring until october 1st with at least 300-600 cfs.

-I have parked and put in at the second slide and surfed the first wave. It could be improved, but eddy access is nonexistent and the river narrows down quite a bit there making it hard to add eddy access. The other option would be at the bottom rapid at the takeout. It looks like someone in the past has tried to form both a hole on river left and eddy access for the first wave on river right. Both features are bony and entirely unworth the effort it takes to get on them in their present state. Either of these could be a place to start though.

-My biggest concern with trying to go forward there is the lack of users on that river which may also equal a lack of overall community support. One angle we might use from there is improving the fish ladder system. That seems to be a common theme in other projects.

@Jeff:
-I will contact them and see what they have in the works. Thanks for the heads up Smile

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by afaust on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 4:18 pm

Hmm I will try to type less next time. After I reread these posts I wanted a cliff notes version myself. scratch

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by wasatchbill on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 4:29 pm

Spanish Fork in a pipe?? I need to do that run (for the first time) before its gone. That makes no sense to me at all; what a waste of money. Who do I complain to about that ;-)
Howards Hole is on the Jordan river.

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by Cap'n RedBeard on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 6:21 pm

wasatchbill wrote:Spanish Fork in a pipe?? I need to do that run (for the first time) before its gone. That makes no sense to me at all; what a waste of money. Who do I complain to about that ;-)
Howards Hole is on the Jordan river.

I believe the tunnel is done. Finished in July 2010.

The take out of SF would be a good place for park and play. Right next to the road and its wide. One issue would be the railroad you have to cross. Some peeps tried to make a little play feature there last year. Need bigger rocks or something.....

Maybe even the little tunnels you go through at the put in would be a good spot. Some how modify how they end on the other side. But you get half the flow because the confluence is down river a bit.

The "Slides" a.k.a. FSM Swimming Hole seems too narrow. Maybe just put A LOT of big rocks in there to spice it up into a boulder garden creek!

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by RobA on Wed 27 Oct 2010, 12:58 pm

The tunnel in SF canyon was done in July but they still have to build it all through the towns now.

It seems like I heard something about the funding being in jeopardy though.
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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by scotticus on Fri 29 Oct 2010, 12:58 pm

On the middle Provo just above Deer Creek Res is a good spot because it has higher average flow then anywhere else on the Provo. It has a base flow of 200 cfs while everything else is much lower 6 months out of the year.

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by Cap'n RedBeard on Fri 29 Oct 2010, 1:21 pm

Scott, your right, the EF 'take out' for the middle section would work great. It already has a diversion dam.

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by Guest on Fri 29 Oct 2010, 8:29 pm

Pretty sure it is also already designated sportsman access also, and there is a healthy parking lot already built just down stream. Just gotta share the river with moose(in my experience, orange kayaks piss them off).

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by Guest on Fri 29 Oct 2010, 8:31 pm

On a side note, would flows be viable for the New Years paddle? It is wide enough ice bridges should be a non factor.

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by Cap'n RedBeard on Fri 29 Oct 2010, 10:44 pm

we did it at 500(correct me if in wrong) and it was pretty boney. it is one of my favorite scenic runs in less than an hours drive though.

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by Guest on Fri 29 Oct 2010, 10:51 pm

Jordan is boney also, but has gotten rather boring.

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Re: Provo or Weber River Whitewater Park Proposal

Post by scotticus on Sat 30 Oct 2010, 5:53 pm

Well actually I was thinking underneath the Charleston access bridge (base 200 cfs) for the park. There is parking. There's already somewhat of a constriction there and it's not bony. Up by the River Road take-out Justin mentioned is wider and a base flow of 135 cfs, although that would be a great place for a play spot too. There is already a good class III wave there at high water. An IKer in this party I met got flipped at that wave. With a little concrete constriction it wouldn't be hard to turn it into a class III to IV play feature.

Maybe from East Main in Midway down to S. Center Street for the New Years paddle. There's less rocks down there and has stunning views of Mount Timpanogos. Maybe I could boat it to see how it flows.

I like the idea of a play park at Vivian Park because it is so close. But a problem with a play features there is that you'll have a 1000's of inner-tubers going down it in the summer and they would congregate around the features. You might spend a lot of time waiting for them.

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