With an unusual combination of high gradient and big volume, the Milner Gorge of the Snake is considered the most difficult big water run in Idaho. The rapids are huge, powerful, and continuous for the entire 1.3 mile length. This stretch, dry most of the year because of diversions, has been run occasionally by expert kayakers for many years. At high flows of between 11,000 and 15,000 cfs the entire river can be run. At lower flows of around 8,000 cfs the speed and size is reduced, but a river-wide hole that forms that must be portaged. You can hike the entire reach on the south side. Scout it, and make sure you can handle what is there! Video guide to the Milner Mile.
Under the terms of its federal license to operate the power plant (FERC Project 2899, License Article 415), Idaho Power is required to provide recreational flows annually for four weekend days, including the Memorial Day holiday. The flows occur from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. between April 1 and June 30, when inflow to the project, in excess of irrigation demands, is between 10,000 and 12,500 cubic feet per second (cfs). Boaters have to request these flows and should follow the directions on Idaho Power's Milner Whitewater Information page. Here are the primary details: *A whitewater release request must be made before 3 p.m. (MST) on the Friday before the requested weekend day. *A whitewater release request will occur only if there is sufficient water available and if requests for a given weekend day include at least two boaters. *A minimum of two boaters must check in at the Milner Power Plant before a requested release will be provided. *To verify a whitewater release, requesters must call the 800 number above before 3 p.m. MST on the Friday before the requested weekend day. The request will be counted as one release day if sufficient water was available and no cancellation was made. *The 1.6-mile stretch of river between the dam and the power plant is a Class V-level whitewater rapid, recommended only for experts when flows exceed 10,000 cfs.
Recommended levels = 12k to 15k according to Amaral. Scouted it 10k and there's a nasty keeper hole of death part way down.
Um... I haven't run this section and I probably never will get up that way, but I have a hard time imagining that the cfs levels recommended (low=12cfs high=15cfs as of 23jul2002) are accurate.
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This is a bypass reach for Milner
Hydroelectric Project. Under the terms
of its federal license to operate the
power plant, Idaho Power is required
to provide recreational flows annually
for four weekend
days (including Memorial Day)
between May 1 and June 30, when
inflow to the
project, in excess of irrigation
demands, is between 10,000 and
feet per second (cfs).
By accessing Idaho Power's toll-free
recreation line at 1-800-422-3143
(select option 2) , you can request a
whitewater release date for boating
below Milner Dam. You will be asked
your first and last name, date, time,
number of persons in your group and
the duration you are requesting to boat.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Milner Miracle Mile
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Earlier this fall the licensees who operate the Milner Hydro Project, submitted a proposal to amend the requirements of their license to include April as a month when whitewater recreation can be provided on the Milner Mile. Local paddlers and AW were consulted in the development of this proposal which was formally approved last week by FERC.
Idaho Power and Milner Dam Inc. is projecting that flows of 10,000 cfs or greater in the Class V whitewater Milner Gorge Reach (Milner Mile) below Milner Dam on the Snake River are likely to be available during May 2012. Heads up!
Idaho Power announced today that "flows of 10,000 cfs or greater in the Class V whitewater Milner Gorge Reach (Milner Mile) below Milner Dam on the Snake River are likely to be available during April 2017." In most years the hydropower project removes so much water from the Milner Gorge that whitewater paddling is not possible at any time. In high water years like this one though, the power company must release flows into the big, powerful Class V run known to paddlers as the Milner Mile.
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Idaho is proposing a $13 registration fee for non-motorized boats greater than 7 feet in length. Under this registration fee proposal all kayaks and rafts on Idaho waters would be required to have a registration sticker fixed to the bow of each boat greater than 7 feet in length. Stickers would not be transferable between boats. Out of state boaters would be required to comply as well.
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