Lucky Peak Dam has scheduled its classic “rooster tail” water release for April 22-23, when a wall of water will climb through the air up to 150 feet.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will discharge the water from noon to 6 p.m. both days next weekend at the outlet structure.
“The water used to create the displays comes from required release rates that exceed what can be used for power generation,” said Lucky Peak Lake Operations Manager Matt Walker in a news release.
The “rooster tail” discharge comes through the dam’s outlet slide gates, nicknamed flip buckets, which will dissipate the quick-moving water’s energy by sending it high in the air. The release creates a picturesque arch of spray into the Boise River.
To reduce parking challenges and make the display more accessible for all ages, Lucky Peak staff established a driving route that starts by crossing Lucky Peak Dam and then winds down behind the dam and exits through Sandy Point.
The route offers the public an all-weather event, accessible to all ages and abilities, with many different viewing angles.
“The driving route was a huge success in 2011 and 2012,” said natural resources manager Keith Hyde in a news release. “It’s really neat to see at times a car full of three generations together enjoying the display. It stirs up a lot of great stories from when this display was commonplace before the Power House was built. With the unpredictability of spring weather, too, the driving tour makes this a truly rain-or-shine event.”
Parking is available near the end of the driving route at Sandy Point State Park or Discovery State Park, where a $5 entrance fee is collected. Free parking is extremely limited and will not be allowed along Idaho 21, along the access road to Sandy Point, or on the road across the dam.
A fact sheet about Lucky Peak’s rooster tail is available on its website.