It has been known for some years that skeletal muscle develops a high potassium permeability in conditions that produce rigor, where ATP concentrations are low and intracellular Ca2+ is high. It has seemed natural to attribute this high permeability to K channels that are opened by internal Ca2+, especially as the presence of such channels has been demonstrated in myotubes and in the transverse tubular membrane system of adult skeletal muscle. However, as we show here, the surface membrane of frog muscle contains potassium channels that open at low internal concentrations of ATP (less than 2 mM). ATP induces closing of these channels without being split, apparently holding the channels in one of a number of closed states. The channels have at least two open states whose dwell times are voltage-dependent. Surprisingly, we find that these may be the most common K channels of the surface membrane of skeletal muscle.