Birdwatching at Bruneau Dunes
The unique desert landscape of Bruneau Dunes is home to many species of birds of prey (my favorite for birdwatching). Around sunset a handsome Great Horned Owl perched near our tiny house, observing us with his giant yellow eyes as we regarded his large size and patterned feathers. He wasn’t intimidated by his human admirers, but instead searched our campsite for breakfast options – table scraps, rodents or even a small dog!The following morning, a common nighthawk was perched on top of our truck. What a pretty little bird, and she let us get close enough to almost touch her (if we dared)!
Stargazing at Bruneau Dunes
Many Idaho locals enjoy weekend camping trips at the dunes, which offers a beautiful campground with hook ups and several recreational activities. The park’s observatory is available for stargazing, but Guillaume and I chose to enjoy the view from our skylight.
Sandboarding at Bruneau Dunes
Hiking the dunes is the main attraction at the state park, but Guillaume and I took it one step further. The park has sandboards available for rent ($25 daily fee for two boards, or one for $15, includes wax). Neither of us had ever been sandboarding before, but we both snowboard and wakeboard, so we thought: this will be easy.
I’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s harder than it looks! Guillaume and I discovered that our sandboards needed to be waxed after every run or we couldn’t maintain speed. We also became very winded climbing up and down the dunes! Where’s the ski lift?? Falling down with a sandy splash was half the fun! Eventually we were able to accomplish a few half-decent runs. Our pup was very confused and almost irritated by the boards. She chased us down the dunes, nipping at the board, and tried to dig us out every time we fell down, which sent us into fits of laughter.
Sandboarding: $25 daily rental for two boards Rating: Worth the experience, but prepare for exhaustion.