Lake Lowell

Forming Nampa’s western boundary is an expansive water reservoir, dammed in 1908 to provide irrigation to farms in Canyon County.Lake Lowell is one of the largest off-stream reservoirs in the Northwest,  but is also a key breeding area for a variety of mammals and birds, and so is encircled by the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. You can visit the shore at a few locations, and the most convenient to Nampa is the 20-acre Lake Lowell Park. On offer here are activities like swimming, boating, birdwatching, hiking, fishing and hunting, and there are facilities for picnics, barbecues and disc golf. It is located at 12996 Iowa Avenue, Nampa, on the Upper Dam (east side) of Lake Lowell. Canyon County Parks has owned this 20-acre park since 1970. Amenities include: picnic tables, BBQ grills, restrooms, water fountain, disc golf course, and story trail.

Much of the lake is set aside for migrating wildlife, but boating is allowed within 200 yards of the upper and lower dams between mid-April and the end of September. The Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is close by and has interpretive displays, a wildlife viewing area and hands-on activities for kids. Lake Lowell is a great birding spot with over 200 recorded avian species. Spectacular bird concentrations occur on the lake during peak migration periods. During state seasons, upland birds, ducks, coots, and mourning doves may be hunted on the East Side and South Side Recreation Areas.

Built by the Bureau of Reclamation to provide irrigation water for Canyon County agriculture, Lake Lowell opened in 1909 and is one of the largest off-stream reservoirs in the American west, with the capacity to irrigate over 200,000 acres of land. It has also become a popular recreation destination for the county’s citizens and visitors. Boating, swimming and fishing are among the many activities that folks enjoy at this beautiful oasis in southwest Idaho. Bird watching, hiking and hunting are other recreation options due to the presence of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Deer Flat National Refuge, also established in 1909. As part of the wildlife refuge, recreation on Lake Lowell’s shoreline and waters may be subject to seasonal restrictions.

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