Destination: Caldron Linn
MURTAUGH, Idaho (KLIX) – If you like history and outdoor adventure, you’ve come to the right place. South-central Idaho has a lot of both. One of the more interesting places is Star Falls, perhaps better known as Caldron Linn.
Check out a few pictures of the site from community member, College of Southern of Idaho.
The historical value of Caldron Linn – sometimes spelled Cauldron Linn – stretches back to 1811, when Wilson Price Hunt and his band of fur-trappers attempted to make the journey from St. Louis to Astoria, Ore. While at the Upper Snake River, Hunt and his men made canoes to travel the river to the larger Columbia River and on to the Pacific Ocean. They had success until they met the witch’s brew on a portion of the Snake they later named Caldron Linn.
While attempting to navigate the narrow and – as they were to find out – treacherous falls with their canoes, disaster struck. A canoe was destroyed, they lost some of their supplies and, worst of all, one man drowned.
That did it.
Hunt and his party beached their other watercraft and set out on foot, making the rest of the trip to the Pacific Northwest on foot.
Remnants of the disaster were still visible a year later, when Robert Stuart and other Astorians passed by Caldron Linn on their way back east and noticed that “one of the unfortunate canoes was lodged among the Rocks,” Stuart wrote, as recorded in an entry by the Idaho State Historical Society. Additional history was revealed more than a century later, in 1938, when rusted traps and guns were found about two miles below Milner Dam.
The site, some 30 minutes from Twin Falls, is as interesting geologically today as it was when Hunt attempted to beat the falls more than 200 years ago. Water at Caldron Linn is pushed through a narrow canyon not 40-feet wide, the force of the flow creating a type of vortex in the “linn” – a Scottish name for a pool below a waterfall.
When at the site you can see how disastrous it would be for anyone attempting to navigate the narrow passage, whether in 1811 or 2016. The natural wonder is worth seeing from the sidelines, though.
Just make sure you watch your step when near the canyon, as there are no fences to block your access – or your fall into the river, if you were to stumble. Be especially mindful of your little ones when here, and be sure to point out the wildflowers in the area that attract butterflies and bees.
How do you get there?