IV / V

Rapid Rating


River Mileage

About Sunshine Falls

This is the first large rapid of the Royal Gorge. Marked by a definitive horizon line, Sunshine Falls can be scouted by carefully walking down the pipeline located on river right. Oftentimes photographers are located here, but you’re going to be pretty busy paddling so you might not spot them.

How to run Sunshine Falls

The line changes in the rapid depending on the falls.

High flows: Above 2,500 CFS. Enter right at the top of the rapid and stay right the whole way through. At the bottom, you will need to hit the large lateral waves straight.

Medium Flows: Between 700 – 2,500 CFS. Enter left, go over Sunshine falls drop, start working right. There is a large boulder in the center of the river. Stay right of this to pass through Elegante Drop. The current will push you towards the rocks on river left (affectionately known as The Hemorrhoids), stay right of these. There is an eddy on river right and left to set safety below this rapid.

Low Water: Below 700 CFS. Enter right behind Heisman rock, which is the first large rock on the right. Then read-and-run to Elegante Hole, which becomes stickier around 500 CFS. Be wary of the Hemorrhoids.