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Bruneau Dunes State Park, Bruneau

(70+ reviews on the web)
State Park Nature / Park
Bruneau Dunes State Park is a state park of Idaho, USA, featuring several large sand dunes and two small lakes. The park is located south of Mountain Home, Idaho, outside of Bruneau. The park is the site of North America's highest single-structured sand dune which is approximately 470ft high. (North America's highest multistructured dune is at Great Sand Dune National Park in Colorado and is approximately 660ft higher than its immediate base.) The park is also the site of the Bruneau Dunes Observatory, where visitors can use a telescope for stargazing.Natural historyReportedly the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America rises to 470ft high above small lakes. The dunes at Bruneau Dunes State Park are unique in the Western Hemisphere. Other dunes in the Americas form at the edge of a natural basin. The Bruneau dunes form near the center. The basin has acted as a natural trap for over 12,000 years. The dunes may have started with sands from the Bonneville Flood about 15,000 years ago. The prevailing winds blow from the southeast 28 percent of the time and from the northwest 32 percent of the time, keeping the dunes fairly stable. Unlike most dunes, these do not drift far.Flora and faunaThe state park includes desert, dune, prairie, lake and marsh habitat. Desert wildlife is prominent along with birds of prey and waterfowl. Fishing for bass and bluegill is popular in the park's small lake. Only non-motorized canoes, rafts and float tubes are allowed.RecreationActivities include fishing, birdwatching, camping, hiking, swimming and viewing the stars at the public observatory. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the dunes but climbing and sledding are permitted. There are 7-mile and 9-mile horseback riding trails around the dunes. An educational center offers natural history displays and a gift shop. The astronomical observatory is open Friday and Saturday evenings mid-March through mid-October. Two cabins, 82 RV sites (with water/electricity) and 32 standard sites are available year round in two campgrounds: Eagle Cove Campground and Broken Wheel Campground. An equestrian overnight facility, with corrals, is also available.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Fun activity to do with friends, family or solo. Beautiful mountain landscape and being able to climb the dunes is not your run of the mill activity. Bring water, sunscreen and a hat! Definitely don't...  more »
  • OK so I was disappointed. As a kid I remember the lake being very open with just a few trees around. Back then, there weren't any facilities or improvements. Now however, there is a visitor's center, ...  more »
  • We had a great time at Bruneau Sand Dunes this weekend. April is a good time to visit here. The temps were mild, the night skies were clear, the campgrounds and observatory were full but still doable....  more »
Google
  • Always fun, great place to visit -- but VERY disappointed that they eliminated the ability to reserve a group campsite... We've gone there for years for an annual group Daddy-Daughter campout... This year was a HUGE pain having to reserve multiple sites and then have to have them each attached to a different person... Made it VERY difficult to put together since you now have to reserve so early in order to get sites together but without knowing exactly who will be going... The kids love the place but it has now turned out to be a HUGE pain to pull off... PLEASE CHANGE IT BACK TO WHERE THERE ARE GROUP SITES AVAILABLE!
  • "The closest thing Idaho has to a beach"! Beautiful place and a whole lot of fun to run up and down the dunes. There is camping but I didn't check that out. Bring a little board to slide down or a towel and sun bathe on the top or along the side!
  • Bruneau Dunes are unique and a must see for anyone that lives in or between Boise and Twin Falls. I am awed by them every time I visit, which is about once per year. Our kids love them. Just don't go when it's hot.
  • Great place. But kinda had a ruined day trip when we got chased out by mosquitoes. They should probably get that taken care of. Bug spray had no effect. Just a heads up
  • Nice campground but the showers made me feel very vunrable and reminded me of a childhood nightmare I once had. Also the campers next door had hammocks up, which not only is against campground rules, but also caused me to trip, injuring my exposed lower legs. Throughout the campground are small yellow prickly grass which get caught on your shoes and cause quite an annoyance. The dunes were a little too steep to climb with my injured leg, but looked very cool from a distance. Overall a great campground, but whenever I close my eyes visons of the terrifying showers cause me extreme flashbacks and panic attacks.