Snake, Idaho, US
D) Milner Power Plant to Star Falls (Cauldron Linn) (Lower Milner)
||I(II) (for normal flows)
>Lat/Longitude data are very
approximate. I will take my GPS out and get accurate fixes
before the season starts.
Thanks to Idaho Power for providing excelent facilities at the put in for this run! Before the
Milner Power Plant went in, there was no road here, and no way to run this stretch by raft.
The road to the take out is steep, rough, and unpaved, but if you have resonable ground clearance
you can make it. If you are not sure, take a look before you start down the hill. Scout the take
out at Star Falls, and make sure you know where to go! Be sure to take a look at the falls! Follow
the trail to the south from the first parking area once you get to the bottom of the canyon. Then
continue on the road to the east upstream to where the river makes a tight left turn. Take out
there! You DO NOT want to go past the left turn. Running Star Falls is almost certan to be
On the other hand, one of the members of the Hunt Party (the first white group to explore the Snake
River valley) made it over Star Falls in a dugout canoe. His partner died, and the group decided to
try an overland route past the canyon as the rapids get very wild below Star Falls. The next
called the Colorado River of Idaho because of the big water it contains.
You can see an Idaho Historical Site marker along Highway 30 by south enterance of the town of
Murtaugh about this event. The part I like best is where they say there is no road to Caludron
Linn. We know different, but don't tell anyone... This is the last undeveloped major water fall on
the Snake River, and we don't want it developed.
At lower water this stretch starts off with about a mile of class II bang, and ends up with four of
five miles of flat water, with two small rapids to break up the monotony. This is a relaxing run,
once you are past the first mile.
Below about 1000cfs the first mile of the river is in a very steep, narrow channel with solid rock
walls. There are several places where I could not use the oars on my 14' cataraft.
At high water (27,000+) it is more dangerous than fun. I survived, but I was not in control of the
boat during that first mile. My partner swam all of it, and lost his boat. I did not have enough
power to rescue him till after the rapids ended. It was all I could do to keep my nose pointed into
the waves. I don't think I want to do it again.
I haven't seen the water at enough levels to give good runable level estimates.
The Milner Power Plant dumps its water into the river at the put in, so you have to add three
guages to get the correct flow. You can see the current levels at USGS Idaho Current Streamflow Conditions
for the last three entries of the "Middle Snake River Basin" section about 1/3 of the way down the
The individual gages are:
13087995-- Snake River Gaging
Station at Milner ID
130875048-- Lower Milner Power
Plant Pipe 1
130875049-- Lower Milner Power
Plant Pipe 2
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-12-04 05:19:32