The Bruneau Dunes and Bruneau Canyons

Being Lost in The Highest Dunes in Idaho, the Bruneau Dunes!

The highest dunes! We paid our $7 parking fee, grabbed a map, and started to hike the Sand Dunes Hiking Trail, following the marked path. After a few miles, the markers and our map disappeared! We remembered seeing the route between the lake and the dunes on the map, so we continued following that direction.
After about 3.5 miles, the path vanished, leaving us with a choice: climb a high dune or wade through the water. With only one bottle of water shared between two hikers already tired from the sand, we opted for the safer option and walked back the same route.

Back at the visitor center, we learned about the Bruneau Overlook, only about 25 miles away. Here, you can see the deepest canyon in Idaho. We decided to visit..

And Being Awe-Struck by The Bruneau Canyon!

The drive to the canyon became an adventure in itself. The final stretch transformed into an unpaved, poorly maintained track, far from the smooth roads we’d anticipated. To add to this unwelcome surprise, an ominous sign warned that “Objects may fall from Aircraft” as the road crossed the US Air Force Bombing Range for the next 12 miles! Falling objects from the sky definitely weren’t part of our plan!
Despite the unnerving final stretch, the destination was well worth it. The Bruneau Canyon was breathtaking, offering a view that seemed unchanged for millennia. This desolate area has been protected since 2009 by the Owyhee Initiative for its natural beauty and to preserve its diverse cultural heritage. It has been and continues to be the sacred homeland of the Shoshone, Paiute, and Bannock people. Its preservation ensures the continuation of their rich cultural heritage for generations to come.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021


7.20 miles

Moving Time

2:38:48 hours


48 °F, gentle breeze, sunny