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Swan Falls


Notice: Portions of Idaho Power property along the Snake River near Swan Falls Dam will be closed to recreation and camping from Sept. 1 - Oct. 31. Signs will be posted providing advance notice of specific closure areas.

These closures are necessary to allow Idaho Power to conduct cultural surveys in preparation for improvements to the campsites, planned for 2014. The result will be improved public camping and recreation facilities. The work is required under Idaho Power's federal license to operate the Swan Falls hydroelectric plant.


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.

For security reasons, tours of the facilities may be available one week in advance and by appointment only. Arrange a tour by calling 208-736-3458.

No overnight camping sites are available within the park, but there are multiple free camping areas above and below the dam. Water is not available at these sites.

Park Facilities

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:

  • Fishing
  • Rafting
  • Boating
  • Mountain biking
  • Upland game bird and waterfowl hunting

Additional Information

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:

  • Owls
  • Hawks
  • Eagles
  • Falcons

The Bureau of Land Management Web site has more information about recreation in southwest Idaho, including Swan Falls Dam.

Visit the Idaho Power Parks section for information about our other parks and recreational facilities.

Related Information

Park Details


Unusual Guests

Unusual Guests

Biologists from Idaho Power and Idaho Fish and Game uncover what's living in the empty concrete chambers beneath the old Swan Falls power plant.


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