Boasting the tallest sand dune in North America at 470 feet, and a variety of small lakes great for fishing, Bruneau Dunes State Park is located in the desert to the south of Mountain Home. Featuring a varied desert habitat that includes lake, marsh, desert prairie and dune, visitors will find much to explore here. Most of the desert wildlife found here is nocturnal, so pre-dawn and late night viewing excursions tend to be the most fruitful. Park officials note that while most animals are best viewed at night, visitors can catch glimpses of lizards, rabbits, and birds of prey during daylight hours.
Small lakes dot the landscape at the foot of the dunes and are excellent havens for bass and bluegill fishing. Fishing from any craft without a motor is welcomed. Powered boats are strictly prohibited in the park’s lakes, however. Six miles of hiking trails can carry visitors through the park offering breathtaking vistas of the desert landscape.
Located also at Bruneau Dunes State Park is the Bruneau Dunes Observatory where visitors can gain incredible looks into space. The observatory provides a unique opportunity to view a crystal clear night sky like many have never seen. The observatory offers a brief orientation where visitors are given the basics of operating telescopes, then given free reign to experience the staggering views through the available collection of telescopes. The Observatory is only open from mid-March to mid-October and carries an additional fee of $3, with children under 6 able to enter for free.
Because warm weather is common for a large part of the year, Bruneau Dunes State Park experiences one of the longest camping seasons in Idaho, usually lasting from March and continuing into late fall. Two camping cabins are available for reservation. Primitive camping and camping with electrical and water hookups is available, with full service bathrooms and showers. The park also features miles of equestrian trails as well as several camping options for horse enthusiasts to camp with their animals.
A gift shop called Off the Beaten Path, offers a variety of souvenirs for visitors to remember their time including: puzzles, kites, books, jewelry, clothing, nature guides and more.
The desert landscape at this park provides a unique area to explore that many people don’t frequently experience. The impressive sand dunes and beautiful lakes are a wonderful backdrop from which to enjoy nature. With these natural wonders, plentiful camping, and an observatory to view the stars, any visitor here will find plenty to enjoy.
Day visitors can enjoy the park year round for $5 per car load between the hours of 9am-5pm.
For further details about entry/camping fees, please view the information below.
Mailing Address: 27608 Sand Dunes Rd., Mountain Home, ID 83647
Website: <a href=”http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/bruneaudunesstatepark.aspx”>http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/bruneaudunesstatepark.aspx</a>