Swan Falls Dam is on the Snake River about 40 miles south of Boise. It was built in 1901 to provide electricity to nearby mines. Swan Falls 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 now a museum.
The museum is open to the public, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday between April 15 and Labor Day. 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 Swan Falls day-use area includes:
- A picnic area with tables and a covered shelter
- Garbage service
- Accessible restroom facilities
- A portage trail around the dam for boaters
- Fishing docks
- Interpretive signs
- Geocaching opportunities
Below the dam is a ramp for whitewater boater access to the river.
The Swan Falls area is a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts. Available activities include:
- Mountain biking
- Upland game bird and waterfowl hunting
Camping at Swan Falls
There are five designated campsites upriver of the dam including a concrete boat launch, vault toilet, picnic tables at some sites and a trash receptacle. There are 15 designated campsites downriver of the dam with a trash receptacle and vault toilet near the concrete boat launch, and an additional vault toilet farther downriver. All campsites include fire rings and improved access roads.
Burning pallets is prohibited in and around the Swan Falls area. Violators will be asked to leave.
All camping is on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors are asked to camp in designated areas only, due to the fragile soil and plant life in the area. Stays are limited to 14 consecutive days. Campers must obey posted campground rules and keep motorized vehicles within the posted speed limit.
Water is available at the restroom in the day-use area, but not at the campsites.
Swan Falls Dam lies within the world-famous Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. The area is home to many bird species:
An equestrian parking area is available below the dam. No overnight camping. Please do not clean horse trailers in the parking area, or anywhere in the Swan Falls recreation corridor.
Visit the Treasure Valley Back Country Horsemen's website to learn more about equestrian opportunities for this area.