Bob's Beach

"Busy when it's best" One of the most popular stretches for both East and West wind sailing can be found along the banks of Stevenson, WA at Bob's Beach. In spring and fall the East winds bring out the locals for some early (or late) season slalom and bump and jump. Big crowds extend the launches to these East winds from Bob's all the way to the boat ramp located 3/4 mile up river. Frequently windy in summer when the rest of the main Gorge is light, Bob's has become increasingly crowded on West winds with visiting slalom riders and has become a real favorite for those seeking a quick dip into mild conditions. Bob's is also a good place to start or end a downwinder to or from Home Valley, just 6 miles away. Always crowded on a good day, finding a parking place within reasonable walking distances by 10 am is virtually impossible. The park is named for its most well known and hard working benefactor, Bob Carlson.

RIG & LAUNCH Located in front of the main parking area, the grass rigging area is protected from the wind. Launching is down the two flights of steps to a 20 yard wide, rocky beach. This partially protected cove is next to the Sternwheeler dock. On a lighter East wind the launch can be partially wind shadowed, so you'll have to swim it out. The water depth on any given day will determine how close you'll want to sail into shore.

WIND Usually good all day long on a West wind, plan for 45 to 55, but it's usually 50. Best in the summer and fall and though seldom nuclear, this may be the only place with wind when the cloud line has moved west. East winds will run 30 to 45 and will best in fall and spring.

WATER Expect the current to be mild except in spring. The swells get up to 1 - 3 feet and are normally smooth on a West wind for good slalom action. Swells to 4 feet with nice breaks will be found during a big East wind when the conditions are defintiely bump and jump. Near the middle and just west of the launch, starboard ramps await your departure. The inside section is always smooth and flat for jibing - smile for the cameras.

GETTING THERE Located in Stevenson, WA. As you travel Highway 14 turn south on Russel Street. Continue over the train tracks and take the next right. Bob's is located about 50 yards down the road on your left. Parking for 20 to 30 vehicles at the park, and more available where you can find it from here to the boat ramp.