Lunch Counter, Snake River, Wyoming
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700 miles from the nearest ocean, surfers in Wyoming are getting wet near Jackson Hole. Better known for wolves, grizzly bears, bison and the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, the Snake River, just south of Jackson, Wyoming, has a unique place for the surfer in a region called "Lunch Counter". During most years, the Lunch Counter wave is active for 2-6 weeks, usually from late May until June.
The same Class 3 rapids that send rafters barreling down the Snake River during spring runoff is also home to a standing wave that has attracted surfers since the 1970s. Surfers often line up for turns on the wave. Some Snake River surfers report staying astride a wave for up to 20 minutes.
The waves are produced when snowmelt and release activities from the Jackson Lake Dam cause water levels to rise and the river to flow 8,000 to 12,000 cubic feet per second.
WARNING: The undercurrents here are very strong and have been known to drag people under for a half a mile or more.
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