Leaving Wyoming was hard, but the promise of sand sledding at Bruneau Dunes State Park was enough to get the boys excited and in the car. They got the chance to do some sand sledding last year at Great Sand Dunes National Park and loved it, so they were eager to give it another shot.
Swimming and Fishing
Unlike the dunes at Great Sand Dunes, you don’t see the ones at this park until you are nearly on top of them. Bruneau Dunes State Park is on the smaller side, but that can be a good thing. Less crowds mean that we had the sand dunes virtually to ourselves any time of the day. Plus, Bruneau Dunes has a lake within the park that allows or fishing and swimming. The water was much too cold for me, but the boys took advantage of the free life vest station and took a short dip each day of our stay.
There are two campgrounds within the State Park, and we stayed at the Broken Wheel campground. It has more mature trees and the sites have more privacy. Our spot came with water and electric hook-ups, as well as a picnic table and fire pit. Tent sites come with a small wind shelter built up over the picnic area too. Showers are free too, which is always a bonus in my book.
Sleds can be rented from the Bruneau Dunes State Park visitor’s center for $5, and sand boards that are just like snow boards are $15 or 2 for $25 for the day. The visitor’s center itself has a wealth of information on the animals and history of the area, as well as a touch table station for kids. There are various camp items for sale, but be sure to bring most of your own supplies, as the nearest town is about 30 minutes away.
Parking is available right by the dunes throughout the park, so not much walking is required to get to them, but don’t be deceived, they are much higher than they look from far away, and climbing up them is hard work. Here is a little tip, bring a magnet with you when you visit and hold it over the sand to see what happens!
There is one 6-mile hiking trail through Bruneau Dunes State Park. It begins at the visitor’s center and winds it’s way past the Equestrian Camp, over the Big Dune, which is not to be taken lightly, and continues through the dunes and back around by the campgrounds. This is an easy-strenuous hike depending on how far you continue along the trail.
Bruneau Dunes State Park camping is $27 for sites with electric hookups, and $21 for tent sites. Reservations can be made in advance, and are recommended for weekends during the summer.