Bruneau Dunes–Not enough sand!

021I had a sandbox growing up that was my favorite spot in the world!  The kitties liked it too, which ticked my dad off big time.   Today, I’m going to introduce you to a sandbox that puts my childhood one to shame (and the only kitties using this one are of the bobcat variety).

Bruneau Dunes State Park in southwestern Idaho is a great place for winter or early spring exploring.  My kids have a blast here.  The western-most dune is reported to be the largest single-structured sand dune in North America, rising 470 feet above the lakes.   That’s way bigger than my sandbox in Las Vegas.

In the spring and fall, there are wildflowers…which I have a weakness for.  My family gets annoyed with me and flowers.  I cannot pass one by without pulling my camera out.  Even though I hate bugs, I will crawl and sprawl on the ground (where I am more bug susceptible) just to capture a flower in my lens with a mountain or lake behind it.  Here’s a good one with one of the smaller dunes behind these sunflowers.

001You can fish in the lakes or swim…but I’m a little squeamish about ponds after swimming in an especially gross one in a triathlon once.  Let’s just say…I’ll pass.   But many others aren’t so squeamish and have a refreshing time in the water when the temps are baking their skin.

[Sigh.  “Yes, son, I see your buff muscles.”]

Sorry.  My son is always posing like that.  I can’t break him of it.  Back to the sand!  There’s a camping area close by the dunes, so if you’re a die-hard and must camp all year long, this is a great place to do it.  I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole in the summer (unless you want to experience what Hell might feel like).  It’s the desert.


There is a several mile  hike that takes you around the top and over all the dunes.  It’s fun once you’re on top.  Getting there is a little strenuous (the one step forward and two steps back sort of phenomena of deep sand).  I felt every one of those 470 feet as I trudged up that sandy behemoth.

You huff and puff…and huff and puff (but you don’t blow any houses down).  The sand falls down around you as you’re huffing…and you think you’re going to die.  Why am I doing this?  I hate sand!  Grrrr.  Why won’t this sand stay put?  Argh!  

P1020325But eventually you reach the top and you forget about how much you hate sand…and you even think all that huffing and puffing was worth it (unless you’re asthmatic…then I hope you brought your inhaler along; you might not think it was worth it at all).

You’re the KING OF THE WORLD when you’re on top of that sand dune.  Nothing is taller than you for miles around…and the view is spectacular.  You feel kind of like Dr. Seuss’s Yertle the Turtle (except you’re not standing on the backs of 100s of poor turtles).

Take your time up there to enjoy being King…because I promise you going down is much faster than going up.  That’s kind of how life is, don’t you think?  Moving upward and growing takes a lot of huffing and puffing.  But spiraling down, picking up bad habits…that’s easy as eating Boston Creme Pie (which sounds really yummy right now).

P1020326Unlike going downwards in life (which isn’t so good), going down the sandy mountain is EXHILARATING!  It might have taken an eternity to get up there (it did for me), but it takes only about 20 seconds to go down!  Serious.

The first time I did it, I had a BLAST weaving my way down and not being able to stop.  I was a little disappointed when I reached the bottom so fast though.  It was so much fun I wanted to do it again…but I felt asthmatic and didn’t want to be the big bad wolf again.  So ENJOY your downward spiral for all its worth.

P1020333I suggest filming it…and tell whoever you’re filming to zigzag a lot while they go down and hold their arms out like they’re a plane and make lots of funny noises so that anyone within a five mile radius will notice them and gape at them in shock!

You can also take snow saucers any time of the year and go down on those if you don’t want to fill your shoes up with sand.  Naw!  Scratch that.  You WILL have sand in your shoes if you go here.  Just know that up front and don’t try to keep it from happening.  You’ll be happier if you just become one with the sand and pretend your shoes are SAND-als.

I love Bruneau in the spring and fall.  Try it.  You’ll like it.  And since we’re on the subject of sand…What do you have when a lawyer is buried up to his neck in sand?

Not enough sand.  Ha, ha.


If you want to know more, visit this website HERE.  And if you’re a lawyer…pretend the lawyer in the joke is a politician instead.

7 thoughts on “Bruneau Dunes–Not enough sand!

  1. Sounds lovely!! We went to the sand dunes called Pinnacles in Perth, Western Australia, many moons ago 😉 it was fun… a 4WD thingy & the driver took us for an exciting ride up & down the dunes, being careful to leave us tipping back & fore at one point 😉

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