‘Star Falls’ Is A 19th Century Water Graveyard East Of Twin Falls
I first walked the banks of 'Star Falls' in 2017 and was incredibly humbled by the force of these powerful rapids located just 20 miles east of Twin Falls. This portion of the Snake River in Murtaugh has a dark, documented history dating back more than 200 years.
'Star Falls,' also known as Caldron Linn, is a section of the Snake River in southern Idaho that attracts onlookers at all times of the year. The rapids are incredibly turbulent due to the fact that the river flow is forced through a 40-foot opening at the top of one of the falls, making the water too dangerous to navigate by boat or kayak. Expedition teams of the past found this fact out the hard way.
According to records, some employed with the Pacific Fur Company actually abandoned plans of settling in Oregon in the early nineteenth century after suffering great human loss while trying to navigate this portion of the Snake River. Numerous supplies, possessions, canoes, and travelers were lost in the Calderon Linn area never to be seen again. Other notable western businessmen and settlers such Wilson Price Hunt and John Jacob Astor also lost associates and friends to the rapids of 'Star Falls' during this time period.
In 1972, 'Star Falls' was designated as a historical state site in the National Register. The area can be accessed by traveling southeast on Highway 30 from Twin Falls for nearly 24 miles. A small, dirt parking area is located near the trails that line the river banks.