SP Campground Review – Bruneau Dunes State Park, Mountain Home, ID
A remote, but visually stunning State Park ~65 miles South of Boise, ID.
- Site Quality = 4.5/5
Great all-around site quality here. All sites are basic firm gravel either back-in or pull-through with gravel “sitting area” containing picnic table and fire-pit. There are two main RV loops in the campground:
- Broken Wheel – This is the older loop and contains mostly back-ins with a mix of either primitive (no hookup), 30amp/water, or 50amp/water hookups Sites are generally very well-spaced, large with green in-between and a good quantity of mature shade trees (= big bonus if it’s hot). Some of the “sitting areas” here are covered. A few sites are only suitable for smaller rigs, and some sites are uneven but most are large and flat enough to fit big rigs. You are slightly further from the dunes here.
- Eagle Cove – This is the newer loop and has mostly pull-throughs with some back-in, all nicely large and flat with a mix of either 30amp/water or 50amp/water hookups. Almost zero shade here and sites are somewhat closer together than I’d like (especially the pull-throughs), but many sites do have full view of the dunes, and you are closer to them for hiking too. Any-sized rig can fit in here.
- Note/ There is also a separate equestrian loop with ~19 very large sites, but I didn’t review or photograph this area.
- Facilities = 4/5
Generally nice facilities, especially in the new Eagle Cove loop. Large, clean toilet area and very spacious showers with bench and pegs. Only slight ding is that showers have those annoying spray heads, plus water pressure was a tad low and the water had a touch of sulphur smell (not excessive, but it was there). However no “push button” and hot water temp were excellent. On-site dump station.
- Location = 4/5
This park is definitely off the beaten track, but it also serves as a location destination of its own. There are really only two reasons to come here -> to see the dunes and to enjoy dark skies/observatory. Apart from this you are very remote and there is nothing else in the area, either for grocery shopping or otherwise. So stock up before you come and just enjoy the sand.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Excellent location for doggie. Lots of space around camp, plus an abundance of trails for hiking including the dunes (which are entirely dog-friendly!). There is even a dedicated, separate off-leash area. Just be aware of temps! The sand can get hot (hot, hot) so if temps are high walk doggie either early AM or very late PM to avoid burnt paws.
Overall Rating = 4.4
BONUS ALERT = Camp within view of the awesome Bruneau Dunes!
Summary: What a unique place to visit! This park is somewhat “out there” requiring a ~25 mile detour from I-84 and there is really nothing here except the park, but what a park it is! The big draw here are the sand dunes, the largest single-structure dunes in NA (470 ft high) and they truly are a sight to see. They rise from the ground ~20 mins walk from the campground and can be hiked with doggie, and since no ATV’s are allowed in the area it’s a quiet and magical experience to be on them. The other draw here are the dark skies and the observatory, which regularly offers tours and star viewing. So, for just those two reasons alone it’s well worth coming! The campground itself is very nice with large gravel pads, decent “sitting areas” with picnic table and fire-put and a selection of hookups from primitive to 50amp/electric. If it’s hot and you need some shade I recommend staying at Broken Wheel since it has mature shade trees. If it’s cooler and/or you want a view of the dunes (and to be closer to them) then chose a site in the newer Eagle Cove loop. The campground also has an extensive system of hiking trails (both on and around the dunes, including trails for horses), two lakes (with fishing) and several day-use areas. We arrived mid-week and had one entire section of Eagle Loop to ourselves (literally no-one else there), but I gather the campground gets busier on the week-ends. Overall we LOVED our stay here and were completely enraptured by the dunes. We’ll definitely be back!
Extra Info: We had 2 bars of decent, stable Verizon LTE (non-boosted) but nothing at all on ATT. The campground apparently also offers paid WiFi, but we didn’t test it. 124 total sites with a mix of either primitive, 30amp/water or 50amp/water hookups (no sewer). Prices range from ~$27-$29/night, but you also need to pay $5/night “motor vehicle entrance fee” unless you have an annual ID State Park MVEF pass ($40). All prices are discounted for seniors and local Idahoans. All sites reservable online. On-site dump station.
Note/ You can see a pic of each and every campsite on the Idaho State Park Reservation System.