Snake, Idaho, US
|Usual Difficulty||V+ (for normal flows)|
|SNAKE RIVER GAGING STATION AT MILNER ID|
|usgs-13087995||10000 - 15000 cfs||V+||01h13m||0 cfs (too low)|
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.