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Kuna Caves and Swan Falls Dam

We decided to spend a family day today and drove around the desert outside of town. We drove to Kuna Caves and Swan Falls Dam, as well as a number of other scenic destinations along the way.

Kuna CavesThe Kuna Caves are a lava flow cave. What you see in the picture is a hole in the ground where the roads intersect. There is a ladder you can climb down into the caves. I’ve explored mostly to the north, but I hear you can actually go a ways to the south as well. If you look at the full map you will see a field to the north. Legend has it the caves used to go that far, but they were destroyed in that area.

Swan Falls damWhen I think of Swan Falls I think of the boulder fields to the west of the actual dam. We used to go camping a lot there for Scouts. There are all these huge boulders spread through these fields. A lot of fun to play around. You need to watch out going their during the hot seasons because of the rattle snakes. The Swan Falls Dam is on the Snake River, and is no longer used for power generation has been in full use as a electric generating power plant since it was built in 1901. Depending on inflows it has the capability of generating 12 mws. It is still owned and operated by Idaho Power Company. It is also within the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. You will see a lot of really great birds there.

The day before Jonathan and I went to the Tripoli Idaho SpudRoc-10 rocket launch. That was our first time time to launch a model rocket, and they launched some really big ones there too. The launch site is near Swan Falls as well, which is where I got the idea. We were actually going to go to the launch today as well, but it got rained out.

Update: Thanks to Steve Jung for correcting me on Swan Falls Dam’s power generation. Not sure where I picked up that erroneous information! I thought it was odd and figured it must still be used for power generation, but never questioned my unknown source (probably something I picked up when I was in Scouts.)

3 Comments

  1. Steve Jung

    You mentioned in your article that Swan Falls Dam is no longer used for power production. Where did you get that erroneous information? Swan Falls Power Plant has been in full use as a electric generating power plant since it was built in 1901. Depending on inflows it has the capability of generating 12 mws. It is still owned and operated by Idaho Power Company.

  2. Jim McKeeth

    Steve emailed me as well to let me know he actually worked at Swan Falls in the late 70s and knows for a fact it still generates power today. Thanks again for correcting me!

  3. Drew Miller

    That info is not erroneous – though it is currently under relicensing through FERC, the dam stopped hydroelectric production in 1959.

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