Bruneau Dunes State Park sits on Snake River Plain 15 miles south of Mountain Home, Idaho and preserves a number of interconnected sand dunes that rise above a pond. With the highest dune rising 470 feet above its base (and having an elevation of 2935 ft), the area is advertised as the tallest “single structured sand dune” in United States (the highest sand dune in North America is 750 ft tall and sits in Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park).
I was staying near Grand View, Idaho for a one week trip exploring Owyhee County’s canyons. Since my plane was scheduled to land early in Boise, I had planned to spend an hour or so walking to the top of the high dune.
Hike Length: 1.65 miles
Total Ascent: 480 ft
Left my home in Janesville, Wisconsin at 3:40 a.m., drove 100 miles to Chicago airport, took the flight to Boise, Idaho and landed at 11:10 a.m. when it was raining. Got my rental Jeep, drove 40 miles to Mountain Home, Idaho. Spent an hour doing one week worth of grocery shopping, then drove to the vacation rental house near Grand View, Idaho. There was still plenty of day light left and since it had stopped raining, drove 25 miles or so to Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park. Many people were there. Started my hike at 4:37 p.m. Elevation was 2490 ft. I had brought gaiters but was too lazy to put them on. Fortunately no sand went in my boots.
Sand dunes from the pond near the start of the hike.
Many people seemed to be on the small dune on the north side of the pond but few were on the tallest dune to the south. Got on a trail going toward the base of the big dune.
After less than half a mile, I reached the base of the big dune and began to go up its slopes. I could see 4 people huffing and puffing up the slopes.
Reached those people. They had sat down to rest. It became pretty steep.
Reached a ridgetop.
At the top, I ran into two very nice young ladies. They were impressed with my speed of climbing and asked if I climbed the dunes often. I told them it was my first time there and I had woken up in Wisconsin at 3 a.m.
Views from the top.
After enjoying the views for a short time, I began to go down the ridgetop.
Back on the trail.
Was back to the Jeep at 5:43 p.m.