Two man-made lakes filled with wakeboarders and obstacle courses: Have you been to Wake Island Waterpark?
It’s a summer classic: slathering on sunscreen, jumping through man-made waves, climbing to the top of a water slide, shooting to the bottom, then running across the hot concrete to do it again.
Fortunately, Sacramento has more than a few waterparks. Golfland-Sunsplash in Roseville combines the natural duo of mini-golf and water slides. Raging Waters Sacramento at Cal Expo offers all the traditional water park activities: a wave pool, lazy river, kids’ water playground, beach volleyball and 20 different slides (with both enclosed and free-fall drops). Extra bonus: A $34 season pass includes entrance to the California State Fair (July 12-28), so you can make a day of it and take a break from petting cows to cool off.
But maybe the region’s most interesting water park is actually 20 minutes north of Sacramento, hidden in the farm fields of Pleasant Grove.
“Still, to this day, we have people who live next door who have no idea we’re out here,” says Jenna Price, a manager at Wake Island Waterpark.
Opened in 2013, Wake Island Waterpark started as the nation’s first and largest cable wakeboarding park. The former fish farm now has one man-made lake devoted to wakeboarding and another filled with an inflatable obstacle course, a zipline over the water, an inflatable human-sized hamster wheel, a free-fall tower, paddle boards and boats and a swimming beach.
Seem a little confusing? Good thing you can enter the park for free and then decide what you want to do. Pay by activity and, yes, the price of fun can add up quickly.
Wake Island visitors book sessions at specific times: a stint on the Aqua Park obstacle course costs $25. For the first time this summer, you can also book unlimited sessions for $34.
“One session is definitely enough for most people,” Price says.
Add the “Thrill Pass” for another $10 to cover all the zip-lining and hamster-wheeling you want. Boating and paddle-boarding are an additional fee. If you plan to wakeboard, book a separate one-, two- or four-hour pass.
Cable wakeboarding remains the park’s main draw, especially for the region’s serious wakeboarders. In early June, the park will host a major event as part of the Liquid Force tour.
But if you’ve never wakeboarded before, sign up for a beginner’s lesson. The perk of the cable system is you get a steady pull through the water—no boats needed.
Before you head out to the middle of nowhere for a new summer staple, book your sessions online to save time. And bring an umbrella. It gets hot wakeboarding through farm fields.