Why You Need to Explore Idaho’s Bruneau Sand Dunes

Miss the old days playing in the sand box?

If somebody asked you to join them to explore the tallest single structure sand dune in North America, where do you think you’d be headed? Maybe the Mojave Desert? Mexico? Or likely somewhere in Southern Utah or Arizona, right? Nope! You, my friend, are headed to Bruneau Dunes State Park in Idaho.

The dunes were formed by the Bonneville Flood nearly 15,000 years ago and these days serve as the ultimate playground for explorers young and old. Hike to the top of the dunes and if you’re an adrenaline junky, rent a sand board and slide your way back down. Now that’s what we call good old fashioned fun! There’s also a small lake that’s perfect for a relaxing day of fishing.

The views from the top are stellar, especially considering it’s a short hike at just 3 miles round trip. Keep in mind, hiking on sand is a little more tiring than on a trail.

Once you’re worn out from the dunes, grab a blanket and some hot chocolate to settle in for some stargazing. The park is home to Idaho's one and only public observatory. If you want to stay the night in the area, check out the available campsites here.

Find more amazing adventures at Visit Idaho.

Published: October 26, 2017

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Visit Idaho


Idaho is home to thousands of miles of biking and hiking trails, rugged mountains, pristine lakes, 18 ski areas, and more recreational whitewater than any state in the lower 48. Find spectacular scenery and endless re...