The dunes at Bruneau Dunes State Park are unique in the Western
Hemisphere. Others in the Americas form at the edges of natural
basins; these form near the center. They include the largest single-structured
sand dune in North America, with a peak 470 feet above the lakes.
The combination of 1) a source of sand; 2) a relatively constant
wind activity; and 3) a natural trap have caused sand to collect
in this semicircular basin for about 12,000 years. Unlike most dunes,
these do not drift far. 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. The two prominent dunes cover
about 600 acres.
The park contains lake, marsh, desert, prairie and dune habitats.
Since most desert wildlife is nocturnal, early morning and late
evening are the best times for spotting the parks inhabitants.
However, a sharp eye often is rewarded with a daytime glimpse of
lizards and rabbits, or raptors such as owls, hawks and eagles.
Look for tracks in the sand. There is no hunting in the parkexcept
with cameras and binoculars. Motorized vehicles are not allowed
on the dunes.
The small lakes at the foot of the dunes provide an excellent bass
and bluegill fishery. Sport fishing from nonmotorized boats, canoes,
rubber rafts and float tubes is a popular activity.
Bruneau Dunes has one of the longest camping seasons in Idaho's
system. Campers often start coming in March and continue to enjoy
the park's warm weather late into the fall. Shade trees and shelters
are abundant in the campground. A new group camp area with shelter
and 25 sites has been added.
A facility for day-use and overnight camping is available.
For More Information:
(Source: The Idaho Department of Parks and