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The Observatory will be opening for the 2024 season on April 5th and programs will be every Friday and Saturday night through Oct. 15th

Winter 2020-2024 Update:

  • October 23, 2023 – March 14, 2024: camping is available in all campgrounds on first come first served basis. Cabins are available year-round by reservations. The 2024 season is March 15 through October 20.
  • Park facilities have been winterized. Restrooms/shower buildings are closed. Water is available only in the Equestrian campground at the frost-free hydrants.
  • Future reservations can be made 9 months in advance at or by calling 1-888-922-6743
  • Sand board rentals are available at the Visitor Center. Due to limited staffing in the off season, please call ahead to verify VC hours of operation.
  • The Motor Vehicle Entrance Fee is still required during the offseason. It is the responsibility of the driver to bring cash or check as the Visitor Center and Entrance Kiosk hours vary. Failure to pay the MVEF will result in Citation or Surcharge (IDAPA 26.01.20)

Please note: UAV/Drone use is only permitted in the designated UAV area (contact the park for location). Flight outside of the designated are is strictly prohibited.

The park has day use areas, which include the dunes, which are only open to the public from 7 am to 10 pm. Please refer to IDAPA code 26.01.20.

Park Reservations
By phone: 1-888-9-CAMPID or 1-888-922-6743

Check out the drop down list below for great activities and adventure ideas at Bruneau Dunes State Park.

Start your visit to at the visitor center located to the right past the entrance kiosk. Find park maps, trail guides, campground registration, natural history displays and a gift shop offering a variety of unique souvenir items. Plus sandboard rentals!

Field Trips

Group Use Permit may be required.
Contact Park for additional information.
Interpreter-led talks if staffing is available.
Motor Vehicle Entrance Fee or Idaho Parks Passport applies if not in State Exempt transportation.

Picnic Shelter Reservations

Group Use Permit required for reserving, in addition to shelter fees.
Contact Park for application and additional information.
Motor Vehicle Entrance Fee or Idaho Park Passport applies to applicant and guests.

Shelter Information
Groups And Events

Group Use Permit required for reserving in addition to shelter fees.
Contact Park for application and additional information.
Shelter Information and amenities link (coming soon)
Motor Vehicle Entrance Fee or Idaho Park Passport applies to applicant and guests.

General Group Information

  • A Group Use Permit is necessary for gatherings of 25 persons or more, including reservations of shelters, school tours, private observatory viewings or any other group activity requiring special considerations or deviations form park rules or policies. This permit does not pertain to group campsites.  Bruneau Dunes does not offer group campsites.
  • Must be applied for in advance.
  • Group Use Permits are available by contacting the park or calling 208-366-7919. 
  • Group Use Fees -$25 is due upon submittal and are non-refundable, even if your permit is denied. Other fees may be applicable and due upon approval.
  • All non-tax-exempt motor vehicles entering the park must pay the $7 entrance fee or display a valid Idaho State Park Passport and or annual Motor Vehicle Entry Fee pass.
  • Day Use hours are 7 am to 10 pm
  • Many trash cans and several dumpsters have been placed throughout the park for your use.
  • Cleanup of table and shelter area is the responsibility of the reserving party.
  • Amplified music shall not exceed a maximum of 65 decibels at 100 feet distance and must follow quiet hour policy.
  • Pets are welcome but must always be on a leash and owners are responsible for cleanup.
  • The person making this reservation is responsible for informing all group members, caterers, and rental companies of the above information.

Those possibly needing a Group Use Permit (list is not cumulative):

  • Field trips for Schools and Organizations
  • Family Reunions
  • Company picnics
  • Weddings
  • Private Observatory Viewings
  • Shelter reservations

To start the process, select associated link for application or contact the park at 208-366-7919 or emailing .

Group Use application fee must be paid when submitting application. 

Copy of Certificate of Insurance may be required, contact Park for more information.

Private Night Sky Viewing

This is a fee-based program and requires Group Use Permit in addition to Viewing fees.
Contact Park for additional information.
Availability is based on staff availability.

Base Viewing Fees covers up to 15 people.  Each additional person is $5.00 each.

No refunds given due to bad weather/viewing conditions.
Motor Vehicle Entrance Fee or Idaho Park Passport applies to applicant and guests.


Filming Permit may be required.
Contact Park for application and additional information.
Must be applied for  in advance.
Motor Vehicle Entrance Fee or Idaho Park Passport applies to applicant and guests.

Drone Usage/Remote Control

Allowed only within boundaries of designated area in the park. Area is posted and located between the Visitor Center and the Broken Wheel campground.


Fish in the two lakes located in the park. Fish for Blue Gill, Large Mouth Bass and Rainbow Trout. Loaner Fishing poles and tackle boxes are available for those under age 13. All Idaho fishing rules and guidelines apply while fishing in the park.


Electric motors are allowed.  No gas-powered motors are permitted.  There are boat ramps located at both lakes.


Kayaking and swimming in both lakes is allowed.
No lifeguard on duty. Enter at your own risk. Loaner Life Jacket station located at the Big Lake in the Day Use area.

Trail Hiking/Biking

Click here for park trail maps.

There are several established trails in the park for hiking and horseback riding. Practicing basic trail etiquette can ensure an enjoyable hike.

Off-Leash Dog Park

 Located across from the Broken Wheel campground. Area is not fenced in.

Scorpion Walks

Guided summer Friday and Saturday nighttime activity when night air temperatures reach 70 degrees. Bruneau Dunes is home to 3 types of scorpions.

Interpretive Talks and Activities

Call Park for current schedule: 208-366-7919. Generally, activities occur spring through fall.

Current Conditions

Contact the Park

Address: 27608 Sand Dunes Rd
Mountain Home, ID 83647
Phone: (208) 366-7919
Hours of Operation: Day-use locations within state parks are open from 7 am to 10 pm, per Idaho state code 26.01.20 (5). Day-use hours may change based on park manager discretion.

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