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Bruneau Dunes State Park, Bruneau

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 60+ 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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  • 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...  read more »
  • We went camping at Bruneau Dunes State Park over Labor Day Weekend. Had a great time. The Dunes were fun, but bring wood bottomed sleds as the plastic ones do not work very well. They do rent them in ...  read more »
  • We went to the dunes ($5 entrance fee)with 4 adults and 4 toddlers (ages 1-5). We stopped at the visitors center to rent sand-boards (1/$15 or 2/$25 for the day-have to be back by 5pm) and borrow sled...  read more »
  • 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!
  • 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).
  • I love these sand dunes. This place has shade, trails, wildlife, water, camping sites, picnic areas and really nice showers. At first, after driving 20 miles to get there, I thought we had come upon a bunch of lousy overgrown hills. But that indeed was not the case. Don't give up, it's worth the trip. These dunes truly impressed me.
  • Fun, chance excursion for us. Next time we'll bring more water and swimming gear for cooling off after climbing that ridiculously tall sanddune. The tallest single one in N America? Something. Took us old folks about an hour to reach the top. Then the sand sleds hardly worked. :( Still. Fun.
  • Beautiful place to camp. I loved it here. And I really loved the doves flying all around!
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