Jackson Lake is a 400 foot-deep natural lake with a dam added on top. The original log-crib dam constructed in 1906-07, failed in 1910. In 1916, the Bureau of Reclamation completed a concrete dam raising the pool level by 39 feet. The increased water level flooded the surrounding forest, drowning many trees. Young men from the Civilian Conservation Corps helped to clear the shores of Jackson Lake and burn the slash piles during the Great Depression. Today, enjoy the views across Jackson Lake or fish in the Snake River below the dam.
A log crib dam first impounded water in 1906 with a storage capacity of 300,000 acre feet. The dam failed in 1910. An earthen dam replaced the log crib in 1916 to raise the natural lake level by 39 feet increasing the capacity to 790,000 acre feet. In 1917, the channel was dredged downstream to further increase the reservoir capacity to 847,000 acre feet. During the 1980s, engineers drained the reservoir and reinforced the dam to withstand a M7.5 earthquake.