Bruneau Dunes State Park in Idaho
Camp Idaho:I’m talking with Steve today. He’s going to tell us about Bruneau Dunes State Park in Idaho. Steve, why don’t you get us started with giving us a little bit of background on Bruneau Dunes State Park?
Steve:Well, Bruneau Dunes started as a State Park in 1978 and one of the reasons that they decided to do this particular State Park was it has the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America. It’s 470 feet tall. It’s a unique area that has a lot of sand dunes. We have a few small lakes. We also have three campgrounds here in the Park, a couple day use areas. Fishing is available for largemouth mass and bluegill. And we also have an astronomical observatory here at the Park, and it’s open from the first part of April till mid-October.
Camp Idaho: Okay. And is that the photo that’s on your landing page? That tallest sand dune.
Steve: Yes, it is.
Camp Idaho: Pretty massive. How long does it take you to get up to the top of that?
Steve: Well, most people – it takes probably about an hour to get to the top of it. Just depends on the abilities of the individual.
Camp Idaho: Sure. Sure. And walking and hiking in sand like that is way more exhausting than if it was on a regular trail from my experience.
Steve: Yeah, that’s true. We get a lot of people that say, “Hey, this is a lot more exercise than we thought it was going to be,” so we just advise people just to take their time and take a few breaks. Look around, take some photos, and brings lots of water with you when you climb those big dunes.
Camp Idaho: Absolutely. And what types of camping do you offer there?
Steve: We have several different types. We’ve got the sites with water and electrical hook-ups. And two of our main campgrounds, we have flush toilets and hot showers available. We also have a standard-type campsites available at our equestrian facility. We have 17 campsites available there. It’s a little more primitive, but there is vault toilets and a shelter there. All sites come with tables and grills. Some of our sites actually have wind and sun shielders on them also.
Camp Idaho: Okay. And what are the most popular activities at Parks?
Steve: One of the most popular activities is basically you talk about climbing on the dunes is really popular. It’s a good place to go hiking. We have both five and six-mile trails, and smaller trails inside that go towards the dunes. And we also have the observatory, which is real popular for the time it’s open, and it’s a great place to come and observe the dark skies here. And fishing is popular in the spring and the fall particularly. And kids just like to come down in all seasons and go down with a sled or a snow or sand boards, depending on the time of year.
Camp Idaho: Okay. And wait a minute; what was that last part you said?[/one_third]
Steve: Children like to come down on the sand dunes with either snow sleds or snowboards or sand boards.
Camp Idaho: Really?
Camp Idaho: Interesting. I’m going to have to look that up. So it acts just like snow.
Steve: Yeah, I mean it’s like snow conditions. You know, you get the right conditions. In the summer, it’s a little soft. It’s a little harder to come down, so you’d want to use – we actually rent out sand boards here that people can utilize for the summertime. But in the wintertime, you can use a regular snowboards or snow sleds. And if the sand is fairly hard in the wintertime due to moisture freezing up on it, I was watching kids earlier this week and they were just zooming down there.
Camp Idaho: Okay. How is the sand board different from a snowboard?
Steve: Just the surface is a little bit different. You can specially treat it and a lot of areas are becoming more popular where you can actually buy that in competitions in major areas.
Camp Idaho: Cool.
Steve: Of the United States that do that type of activities. But here it’s just primarily recreational, so people are here to have a good time going down the dunes.
Camp Idaho: Cool. And what are some of your other favorite attractions around the Park there?
Steve: Well, with the lakes being here, we’ve got over 150 species of birds. Not year round, but during the year, so people like to bird and observe. And basically, like I said, hiking in the Park is good in the spring and the fall. It’s nice. Temperatures are fairly mild that time of year. People like to fish for those largemouth bass, bluegills. Trophy bass lake, so you’re allowed to keep two fish over 20 fishes and catch as many bluegills as you want to keep on them.
Camp Idaho: Fun. Two more questions for you, Steve.
Camp Idaho: If you were going to spend just one hour at Bruneau Dunes State Park in Idaho, how would you spend your time there?
Steve: I think I would come just to a general review of the Park. I think most people just like to – we’ve got some smaller dunes off the side of the road, and just climb on that. Take a view and look around the Park. We also have a Visitors Center here that won’t take too long to go through and look at our exhibits here. And then we have a small gift shop also here.
Camp Idaho: Great. And if you were going to spend just one night at Bruneau Dunes State Park in Idaho, which specific campsite would you stay at and why?
Steve: Well, it depends on the person. I’m a tent camper myself, so I would probably pick probably Site 40 would be my popular at Campground. But we’ve got a loop there that we have 50amp and 30amp service that’s pretty popular too. They’re about all the same for me, but it’s good ones with shade trees and shelters are probably the more popular ones.
Camp Idaho: Sure, sounds great. Well, Steve, thank you so much for taking some time out of your morning to tell us a little bit more about the surrounding area there and to give us more information on Bruneau Dunes State Park in Idaho.
Steve: All right, you’re welcome. You have a good day.