Cabinet Gorge Dam

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Cabinet Gorge Dam
Cabinet Gorge Dam.JPG
LocationBonner County, Idaho
Coordinates48°5′12″N 116°3′52″W / 48.08667°N 116.06444°W / 48.08667; -116.06444Coordinates: 48°5′12″N 116°3′52″W / 48.08667°N 116.06444°W / 48.08667; -116.06444
Opening date1952[1]
Construction cost$47 million
Operator(s)Avista Corp.
Dam and spillways
ImpoundsClark Fork River
Height208 ft (63 m)[2]
Length600 ft (180 m)[2]
Width (base)40 ft (12 m)[2]
CreatesCabinet Gorge Reservoir
Catchment area22,000 sq mi (57,000 km2)[3]
Surface area3,200 acres (1,300 hectares)[3]
Power Station
Turbines4 turbines; 1 Kaplan, 1 mixed flow, 2 propellers
Installed capacity230 mw[1]

Cabinet Gorge Dam is a concrete gravity-arch hydroelectric dam on the Clark Fork River, in the U.S. state of Idaho. The dam is located in the Idaho Panhandle, just west of the Montana border. Cabinet Gorge Reservoir extends into Montana, nearly to Noxon Rapids Dam. The purpose of the dam is for hydroelectricity.


Construction on the Cabinet Gorge Dam began in 1951 by the Morrison Knudsen Corporation. The Clark Fork River had to be diverted with two coffer dams and speed was necessary because Spring flooding threatened the river diversion and coffer dam integrity. 32 tons of dynamite was used to blast 50,000 cubic yards of rock from the canyon walls in order to prep the construction site. Water was diverted through two 1,000 ft (300 m) tunnels, and a half-million cubic yards of earth was excavated from the site overall. Construction on the dam was complete in 1952 and the reservoir was filled in 1951, half the estimated time.[4]

The dam is currently owned and operated by the power company Avista.

On August 13, 2017, a train derailment dumped more than 3,500 tons of coal on the Cabinet Gorge Reservoir riverbank between Noxon and Heron, Montana.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The State of Idaho (2012). "The Office of the Governor Proclamation" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-01-11.
  2. ^ a b c Idaho Public TV. "Cabinet Gorge Dam". Archived from the original on 2016-05-19. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
  3. ^ a b Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. "PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE FISHERY MANAGEMENT IN CABINET GORGE AND NOXON RAPIDS RESERVOIRS". Retrieved 2015-01-11.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Cabinet Gorge Dam
  5. ^ Briggeman, Kim (2017-09-25). "Coal cleanup underway on Clark Fork weeks after train wreck". Missoulian. Retrieved 2017-09-25.