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Swan Falls

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 adjacent park is day-use only, but there are many 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
  • Campsites and roads have been improved
  • Fire rings and level parking areas were added to each campsite
  • Picnic tables were added at some sites
  • New vault (no-flushing) toilets were installed
  • Additional trash facilities were added

All camping is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visitors are asked to camp in designated areas only, due to the fragile soil and plant life in the area.

Water is available at the restroom in the day-use area, but not at the campsites.

Park Facilities

The Swan Falls day-use area includes:

  • A picnic area
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (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 of outdoor enthusiasts. Available activities include:

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

Additional Information

Swan Falls Dam lies within the world-famous Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. The area is home to many bird species:

  • Owls
  • Hawks
  • Eagles
  • Falcons

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

Visit the Idaho Power Parks section to learn 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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