Lucky Peak Dam
The journey to the top of Lucky Peak Dam is proof that a journey truly can be as beautiful as the destination. The Boise River Greenbelt trail and parallel road climb to the top of the dam and up to the reservoir. A number of beautiful and cultural hotspots line the trip up to Lucky Peak, including excellent scenic landscapes through Boise’s tree-lined downtown, followed by a stretch of beautiful natural scenery. Some other great surprises along the road include the outdoor stage for Boise’s Shakespearean Festival, nature gardens and parks, exotic-looking native flowers and plant life, and recreation hotspots near the base of the dam. A treasure valley favorite includes the rooster tail of the dam in spring blasting a beautiful stream of water into the Boise River to let off some of the overflow from the upper reservoir. The journey certainly has no shortage of majestic scenic views and is simply an incredible environment to enjoy.
Prior to reaching Lucky Peak, there is an initial crest at the diversion dam. An impressive secondary dam that unlike Lucky Peak and Arrowrock, does not create a reservoir of water but is used for irrigation, flood water diversion, and hydroelectric power. Even the view from this lower elevation shows an immense river trail through the Treasure Valley that provides beauty, plant and animal life, along with refreshing cool freshwater fishing throughout the city. Finished in 1912, it is the smallest of the 3 major dams in this section of the Boise River and was actually retrofitted with extra powerhouses to assist in building the Arrowrock Dam further upstream in 1915. It was the start of irrigation and flood prevention in the Boise River valley, which has increased the enjoyment of the Boise River Greenbelt for all residents and visitors alike.
Continuing the climb up the greenbelt is breathtaking--no matter what type of wheels are used for taking this well-traveled road. Whether the rooster tail is shooting up from Lucky Peak Dam, folks are barbecuing at Sandy Point near its base, or cyclists are sweating their way to the top the view is inviting and beautiful. Just downstream from a one-time world’s largest dam, Arrowrock, the Lucky Peak dam was built in 1955 without hydroelectric power generation but was later retrofitted with a powerhouse to better manage the 300,000 acre-feet water storage capacity, flip bucket discharge gates, and later installed power-generating turbines. The power prowess of the Lucky Peak dam is nothing compared to the beauty of the reservoir both above and below that brings people to breathe in Boise’s native wonders.
The journey to Lucky Peak dam is a trip to enjoy at every marker along the way. The reservoir itself is often filled with people enjoying all kinds of various water activities and shoreline events. Kites, boats, skis, tubes, grills, books, and more can be found in every corner of the reservoir. Whether impressed by the magnificence of a huge architectural or electrical feat, cultural events along the river, or natural beauties both small and large, there will be no disappointment during the few miles up to Diversion Dam and Lucky Peak Reservoir. The proximity of this historical landmark to Boise is just one of the evidences that the Treasure Valley has no shortage of activities and vistas for every taste and occasion.