Swan Falls Dam is on the Snake River about 40 miles south of Boise. Built in 1901 to provide electricity to nearby mines, it is the oldest hydroelectric generating site on the Snake River. Idaho Power built a new power plant in the mid-1990s. The old plant is decommissioned and is now a historical display.
The museum is open to the public every Saturday between April 15 and Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours at other times may be arranged in advance by emailing us. Scheduling tours outside open hours requires at least one week prior notice. See tour guidelines.
The adjacent park is day-use only, but there are multiple free camping areas above and below the dam. In 2014, Idaho Power completed a major renovation of the park and the camping areas. The boat ramps above and below the dam have been upgraded. Improvements have been made to campsites and roads. All campsites have fire rings and level parking areas. Some sites also have picnic tables. New vault toilets were installed, and additional trash facilities have been put in place. All camping is on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors are asked to camp in designated areas only, due to the fragile nature of the soil and plant life in the area.
Water is available at the restroom in the day-use area, but not at the campsites.
The Swan Falls day-use area includes:
- A picnic area
- ADA accessible restrooms
- A portage trail around the dam for boaters
Below the dam is a ramp for whitewater boater access to the river.
The Swan Falls area is a favorite with outdoors enthusiasts and provides many recreational activities, including:
- Mountain biking
- Upland game bird and waterfowl hunting
Swan Falls Dam also lies within the world-famous Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. The area is home to many bird species, including: