Lucky Peak is located seventeen miles away from Boise. Once there was a victorious mining camp that was located just north of Lucky Peak and that is how Lucky Peak got its name. The Dam of Lucky Peak has offered flood protection of the Boise River since 1954. The Dam has prevented approximately one point three billion dollars in flood damages. Lucky Peak has approximately one million visitors annually who enjoy the lakeside outdoor activities the lake offers. Lucky Peak is home to deer and elk and is managed by the Wildlife department of the Idaho Fish and Game. Lucky Peak offers a great economic drive to the region as it offers irrigation water, wintering elk and water skiing.
One of the most common springtime attractions is the “Rooster Tail”. The Rooster tail comes from when the water pressure gets so hard from the lake above that it shoots out hitting a bucket to make it skyrocket in the sky and then rests for a second then continues to fall down slowly until it meets stream channel. Rooster Tail utilizes water the big releases produce that is mandatory for flood management in which exceeds the capacity, therefore, water is not wasted for the rooster tail attraction. The show continued daily until 1986 because of the beginning of the project called Lucky Peak power Plant Project but came back in 2012.
Four different irrigation districts own and operate the powerhouse and then the Boise Project Board of Control started to create power in the year 1988. At the powerhouses peak, the dam produced one hundred and one megawatts of electricity which would power up to 10,000 homes. The U.S. Army, as well as the River Watermaster Bureau, controls the bulk of water that goes through the Lucky Peak dam. The two works together to manage the release that maintains the flood storage space that is needed as well as meet the irrigation qualifications.
During the building of the powerhouse, there was a second tunnel constructed to help manage the water. The release from the secondary tunnel comes out precisely from Discovery Park and handles the releases that exceed the powerhouse capacity. The release from the secondary tunnel is commonly mistaken as the rooster tail.
The Rooster tail helps to reduce the wear and tear of the initial release structures and happens for the public in May time when the springtime runoff season happens. The measure of water the Rooster tail produces is normally one thousand five hundred to two thousand five hundred cubic feet per second all coming through a six-foot gate that is lifted three to five feet. Can you imagine that many basketballs slipping through the tunnel every second with a small fraction of the thirty-nine thousand cubic feet per seconds takes complete control to release the capacity the facilities of Lucky Peak dam handle.
Many different organizations come together to share Treasure Valley history and this is why they offer the Rooster Tail viewing for the public.
Lucky Peak State park
The park itself was established in 1956 when the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the state entered into an agreement right after the completion of the Dam. The park itself goes over three thousand acres. Lucky Peak was the last reservoir that was constructed in a three series of reservoirs that are lined against the Boise River. There are three parts to the park, Discovery Park that is located right off State Highway twenty-one. It offers a roadside park that has picnic tables, shelters and great options for fishing. The second point is Sandy Point at the bottom of the dam. It offers a beach with a swimming hole that provides calm waters for wading along with swimming. Finally, the third unit is the northern end and is referred to as Spring Shores which offers two boat ramps along with a marina.
For those who enjoy a good hike, Lucky Peak offers the loop trail that is thirteen points six miles. It offers gorgeous wildflowers. The skill level is listed as difficult as it is mainly uphill the whole time. The trail offers many options from walking, hiking, running and mountain biking. The majority of the trail is not covered so you will want to remember that hat and sunscreen. The best time to utilize the trail is between the months of March and October.
Other hiking trails are available for non-motorized off-road vehicles. During the winter months, many use the trails for cross country skiing. During hunting season, you can find hunters hunting a lot of different big game animals that live in the area. Such as mule deer, elk and much more. The deer and elk go over the reservoir areas during the yearly migration.
Arrowrock Dam is just upstream from Lucky Peak. The Lake overs 12 miles of water that goes along with the canyon all the way to the dam. Fishing is a popular sport and cutthroat trout, Kokanee, rainbow trout and other species can be found in the lake at Lucky Peak. The Bull trout that can be found at the lake are available but protected and must be caught on a catch and release bases. If you are a boater and love the waters of Lucky Peak you must be able to show proper registration along with the Idaho Invasive Species sticker. For those who enjoy fishing in the winter you can find ice fishing amount some of the shallower shores; however, the water is not a full ice cover as water under the ice continues to flow.
Among the other activities at Lucky Peak, there is also camping in permitted areas that go along the shoreline. Many of the camping sites are accessed only by boat, kayak and canoes.
Due to the fact that Lucky Peak is so close to Boise many locals and visitors enjoy spending their time up at the reservoir; however, is not known by many outside of Idaho. Come enjoy the spring festivities of the Rooster Tail, or the summer splashing in the water, or during the hunting and camping season to explore the many trails that are offered.