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Bruneau Dunes State Park, Bruneau
(4/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web)
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
  • As we were tired of driving, we decided to stop and spend the night in Bruneau Sand Dunes Park. We got there very late (around 12-1 am) and the whole time until sunrise there was some kind of dog cryi...  more »
  • We've been driving around Idaho and stopped here on a whim. It was a lot of fun! We didn't try the sand boarding (too scary) but we did climb up a sand dune. We hiked up in our bare feet, (only on the...  more »
  • On the way from Boise to Idaho falls, if you have a couple of extra hours, you may visit the Dunes state park. It is not a necessity, however. A few people camp there, several kids slide down hill, an...  more »
Google
  • Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park has two campgrounds. The Wagon Wheel Campground has better shade and more space around your site while the Eagle Cove Campground has less shade, but the grass is much nicer. Both campgrounds are great places to stay when exploring the park. We recommend you visit the State Park in the Fall or Spring since temperatures on the sand dunes in the summer time can get extreme. Don't forget your sled.
  • Why go here? Because there's a giant sand dune in the middle of nowhere! I was not expecting to see such fine sand here in southern Idaho. --- Camping is great. Be prepared for decently strong winds (part of how the dunes have stayed in such great shape is the consistent winds). The campgrounds are located quite a ways away from the dunes, with that said, I would like to comment that the campgrounds are fairly uneventful. They DO supply a place to sleep with many great accommodations. --- The information center does supply sand boards and sleds amongst other helpful camping supplies (including wood AND ICE CREAM!).
  • It's definitely a place to see if you live in Idaho; however, don't believe all the pictures that you see. From other photos I thought the sand went right up to the water...oh no, expect there to be vegetation and swampland blocking your entrance to the water. If you bring kayaks you'll be fine but dine expect to simply play in the water (nasty and hard to get to).
  • Awesome camping spot! Available WiFi, outlets, water, showers and good bathrooms, can buy firewood for $6.👍 Perfect place for stargazing! Observatory is fun, will let you see some planets.:) Scorpion walk is an awesome adventure too!! 😄 Loved it!
  • Great ! Clean! Nice weather! Fun sand dunes! About a two day stay here between national parks is a great way to divide up your trip. Kids will enjoy this place for sure!