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Black Canyon Diversion Dam is nestled in the gently

rolling hills between Emmett and Horseshoe Bend,

Idaho about 45 minutes north of Boise along State

Highway 52. This concrete gravity dam spans the

Payette River and is 183 feet tall. The construction

of the dam took place during the years of 1922, ’23

and ’24 in an effort to improve irrigation in the

Emmett Valley. Water from the dam is diverted to

the Black Canyon Main canal on the south side of

the Payette River and the Emmett Irrigation District

canal on the north side. These canals combined with

lesser canals serve 58,250 acres of farmland. The

reservoir created by the dam measures 1,100 acres

and offers 12 miles of shoreline. In addition to

improving irrigation in the Emmett Valley, Black

Canyon Reservoir provides some electricity and recreational opportunities in the form of boating, swimming, fishing and hiking. The reservoir also provides water for deer, elk, birds and other wildlife that winter in the surrounding hills. The dam, reservoir and related recreational areas are managed by the Bureau of Reclamation.

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