Snake - D) Milner Power Plant to Star Falls (Cauldron Linn)

Snake, Idaho, US


D) Milner Power Plant to Star Falls (Cauldron Linn) (Lower Milner)

Usual Difficulty I(II) (for normal flows)
Length 7.3 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Snake River below Milner Power Plant
virtual-6366 1000 - 27000 cfs I(II) 00h34m 0 cfs (too low)

River Description

>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 fatal.

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 stretch, Murtaugh is sometimes 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 page. Look for the last three entries of the "Middle Snake River Basin" section about 1/3 of the way down the page.

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


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

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