Must-See Destination #4: The Jackson Lake Dam

The Jackson Lake Dam is a concrete gravity structure with earthen embankment wings. The structure is 65 feet high. It was originally a log-crib dam when built in 1907.

At that time, the dam rose Jackson Lake’s waters by 22 feet. When it was rebuilt in 1916, that number rose to 30 feet.

In blocking the lake’s outlet into Snake River, the consequent 847,000 acre-feet of storage area provides irrigation water for Idaho farmland diverted into distribution canals when further collected by the Minidoka and American Falls dams 100 miles downriver.

According to the US Bureau of Reclamation, the latest update to the dam, in 1989, can withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake along the Teton fault.

You can see Jackson Lake Dam along Teton Park Road, off of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Parkway. It sits below the immensely popular Signal Mountain and the picturesque Jackson Lake Overlook.

The Jackson Lake Dam Picnic Area, next to the dam, is a sought-after spot for outdoor eating with breath-taking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.