Explore the most popular trails in Bruneau Dunes State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The tallest sand dune rises to 470 feet high above small lakes in the high desert south of Mountain Home. The state park includes desert, dune, prairie, lake and marsh habitat with opportunities to observe nocturnal species. Activities include fishing, birdwatching, camping, hiking, swimming and viewing the stars at one of only two public observatories in Idaho. Feel free to climb but no vehicles are allowed on the dunes. A visitor center offers information on birds of prey, insects, fossils, wildlife and the sand dunes. A variety of gift items are available for purchase. Two cabins are available for rent. Also 82 serviced with W/E and 16 standard sites. The Equestrian Area provides facilities for visitors to camp with their horses and there is a 9-mile riding trail around the park.

hiking
1 month ago

This is so much fun for a couple hours worth of adventure! There really is no marked trail, because the ridge of the sand dune is the trail. It's impossible to maintain a marked trail up there because the sand is not stable, and is constantly blowing. The best way to do the said hike, is to go around the lake up to the dune, hike up to the ridge, and walk along it for the entire length of the lake. There really is no way to get lost, if that is a concern with the whole no designated path thing.

hiking
bugs
off trail
over grown
3 months ago

I enjoyed the hike, but I’m not sure why it’s rated as easy? The hike is up a large sand dune and follows the ridge. I couldn’t find the path between the 2 lakes so eventually went around both. I was glad I bought additional bug spay or else....

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Fun hike! It costs $5 per vehicle to enter the park. If you do not have cash you can pay with a card at the trail center before 5pm. The trail is marked to a certain point up to the main dunes on the backside of the lake. Bugs were bad when I went, but still enjoyable.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Thought "Sand Dunes" were a misnomer in land-locked Idaho but boy was I wrong. Due to an environmental cataclysm 15,000 years ago there are significant dunes at this park, held in place by winds coming in opposite directions. Perhaps I was overly influenced by the sand that was immediately blown into my eye when opening the car door but I did not like this park. We attempted one path but found it poorly marked. Then, we thought we'd just walk around the lake but couldn't find enough cleared pathways to do it. The dunes were impressive to look at but the sand not fun to slog through. There are many better parks and paths in this part of Idaho.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Unique experience. This is the largest freestanding sand dune in North America. Morning in June was not too hot, but lots of mosquitoes by the water. Sand is a little tough to climb, but it’s worth it for some cool views and a run/slide down. Kid friendly. Instagram pics @marcomoore

horseback riding
no shade
5 months ago

Took the horses out for a ride during the Spring before it started to get hot. Our ride was beautiful, enjoyed the sunshine, and surprisingly no bugs. We spotted a small herd of antelope. It was a great workout for the horses even though it was a shorter ride.

Beautiful hike, just not in the heat of the summer.

backpacking
11 months ago

Great spot with plenty of activities. Surprisingly a lot of wildlife.

hiking
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Visited on 9/12/18. Had a hard time finding the “trail” so we didn’t actually do the loop. We just walked around near the lake. The sand is a great workout but gets hot easily. I think the high that day was 70 but the dogs’ paws seemed to bother them pretty quickly so we weren’t out long. We picnicked at a table near the lake and it was nice and quiet. Bring bug spray!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Definitely should try it if in the area. Sand was a great workout. Can get very hot

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Nice views, trail not distinct as the sand allows you to go wherever. Sand gives you a nice workout.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Never hiked in a desert enviro before. It was quite strenuous if you climb the dunes. Make sure you hike in the morning. Beautiful scenery and a great fishing. Has camp sites, a star observatory and free wifi. A very cool experience!

hiking
Sunday, June 24, 2018

Incredibly fun and astoundingly beautiful! It feels like you've left Idaho! Highly recommend renting sand sleds and/or boards from the visitor's center. Hilarious and unforgettable!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Very beautiful area. Super dog and child friendly! It was $5 to enter the park. I suggest bringing a sled or skis if you want to have some extra fun on the dunes! Also, don’t forget insect/mosquito repellent!!! There are a TON of mosquitoes once you enter the tree overlay!! Overall 8/10 experience

Sunday, May 20, 2018

We went on Mother's Day this year it was a really fun trail. The view is beautiful and the kids had a blast. However, the mosquitoes were horrid! We all left covered in mosquito bites. so make sure you bring your bug spray!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Kids love this hike!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

This is a short walk, but a real workout climbing in the loose sand.

hiking
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Good trail. Nice to be able to go where you want and not be confined to trails. Beautiful views.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Bruneau sand dunes trails are fun and clearly marked. The trail from the campground to the observatory has informational signs along the way that tell about the animals that live at the dunes. Just watch for rattlesnakes, scorpions, and wind.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Was neat if you can deal with heat wind and sand in all places. There are various arrowheads and rocks to find. Good place to visit at least once.

camping
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Great place to camp early spring. Great hiking, sand boarding, biking, horseback riding. Great for the whole family. Many kids for your own to play with.

hiking
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

great place to take the dogs. Went on a warm spring day and the sand felt amazing. It was cool to be able to walk on top of the dunes around the lakes. There is also tons of room for dogs to run and the lakes are small and good for kayaking.

hiking
Monday, August 17, 2015

Hike up to the dunes early in the morning. After you reach the top, running back down is your reward :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Great time with my grandchildren sliding down the sand and splashing in the lakes. Really cool natural wonder.

hiking
Monday, May 04, 2015

I didn't expect to have as great of a time as I did. It was a blast!! We climbed the tallest dune and it was so, so difficult (we discovered at the top that we went the most difficult way possible, almost straight up. derp.) but it was amazing watching the sunset from atop of the dune. Running down the front was really fun as well. We had never seen a giant sand dune before this, so maybe that's why it blew our minds. We thought we could go around the lake to the lot instead of going back the way we came, and it was a terrible idea. It looks passable but it's not, it's very marshy and easy to get lost in. We almost got stuck out there with no light, and barely found our way back before the last bit of light was gone. We thought we were going to have to sleep out there. Lol. Don't do that. If you want some nature time that's different from the usual hike, this is a great choice.

camping
Friday, October 31, 2014

This area has unique beauty. Definitely worth taking a trip here and checking out the Bruneau Sand Dunes.

camping
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's amazing how this sand dunes got formed here out of nowhere.. If you like hiking you can do a good 10 mile round trip here. Start very early in the morning as it gets hot very soon. The campground has a hot shower which is relaxing after the long walk.. If weather permits lay down and watch one of the clearest sky in North America. I got my first star trail photo here..

hiking
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Best time to go is anytime but in the heat of summer. And the best place for star gazing.

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