Bruneau Dunes State Park

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Bruneau Dunes State Park
Idaho State Park
Bruneau sand dunes.jpg
Bruneau sand dunes
Country  United States
State  Idaho
County Owyhee
Location Bruneau
 - elevation 2,470 ft (753 m) [1]
 - coordinates 42°53′45″N 115°40′40″W / 42.89583°N 115.67778°W / 42.89583; -115.67778Coordinates: 42°53′45″N 115°40′40″W / 42.89583°N 115.67778°W / 42.89583; -115.67778
Area 4,800 acres (1,942 ha) [1]
Established 1970 [2]
Management Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
IUCN category V - Protected Landscape/Seascape
Location in Idaho
Website: Bruneau Dunes State 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 Bruneau. The park is the site of North America's highest single-structured sand dune which is approximately 470 feet (140 m) high. North America's highest multistructured dune is at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado and is approximately 750 feet (230 m) high. The park is also the site of the Bruneau Dunes Observatory, where visitors can use a telescope for stargazing.

Natural history[edit]

Reportedly the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America rises to 470 feet (140 m) 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.[2]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The 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.


Activities include sandboarding, 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.[1]

Park history[edit]

Land for the park was purchased under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act in May 1967. Additional land was acquired by the Department in 1980 and in 1984, bringing the total area to 4,800 acres (19 km2).[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Bruneau Dunes State Park". Idaho Parks and Recreation. Retrieved October 18, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Bruneau Sand Dunes". Digital Atlas of Idaho. Idaho Museum of Natural History. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ "State Lands in Idaho: History". Idaho Museum of Natural History. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 

External links[edit]