Back in September, Greg Madison contacted us with some photos that he’d taken at Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park in Idaho. Greg’s a retired teacher and lives in Boise. Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park is a little over an hour away from Boise, so Greg takes his fatty out there when conditions are favorable.
Greg described the riding at the park with “There’s a big dune. A hiker is on top of it (photo above). There are a couple of bowls and sand half-pipes, smaller dunes, and several areas with more bowls and dips to enjoy!”
Here’s another shot from a ride from last summer. Greg added “Did a speed run on a wide ridge that starts at the base of the big dune. My old school CatEye hit 40 mph! You can tell how perfect the sand was since my tracks barely made an impression on the sand!”
I asked Greg for some insights into how he decides if sand conditions will be good at the dunes and he shared these thoughts. “The best riding conditions are right after rain, which can happen anytime. I’ve been there after rain fell in June and August but the best season is in the spring. Most of the rain falls from March to May. It all depends on the rainfall. I try to get there the day after a rain of at least 1/4″ out there. A few times there has been less rain than advertised but I’ve still had great rides! The steep dunes are unrideable when dry but the smaller, rounder dunes and flatter areas are still good. The sand there seems to hold moisture well so even a couple of days after a rain can still be good. I’ve been there at least 30 times in the last 2 years and have never had a bad ride! There’s always good riding sand out there! Hot summer days however would not be good! It easily hits triple digits out there and the sand absorbs and reflects that heat. The only summer days I’ve ridden there are just after a steady rain or thunderstorm and cooler temps in the 70’s-80’s which does happen a few times each summer.”
“Winter can be good as well but it’s very cold and at times the snow can be too deep even for fat bikes. However, I’ve been out there in the winter on a perfect day! 4″ of fresh snow made it seem like I was floating on a cloud! No sound at all but a faint whoosh of the tires on the snow! On the steeper dunes, the snow gave way so traversing was impossible. The smaller dunes and flatter areas were amazing!”
I contacted Bryce Bealba, Park Manager at Bruneau Dunes State Park to get his thoughts about fat bikes and this is what he shared.
“Fat tire bikes are welcome on our trails and are gaining in popularity on the dunes. We only ask that riders give proper courtesy to others on the trails including horseback riders and that they take care to not damage any of our natural resources including habitat for the Bruneau Dunes Tiger Beetle, a species of special concern as there are very few of them that only live here in the park. As for the best times, I always recommend visiting in spring and fall, the park is beautiful and the temperatures are mild.”
We asked Greg to recommend some local spots for visitors to the dunes and here’s what he replied “The nearest town to the park is Mountain Home Idaho. There’s a huge Air Force Base with the same name so Mountain Home is a military town and also an agricultural town with a truck stop on I-84!
The Manhattan Cafe breakfast could actually make it in New York! Excellent food and service! Blue Pit Brewing is good for post-ride libations! There’s a Wingers as well. There’s a Hampton Inn and Best Western by the freeway and other typical interstate businesses. The Mountain Home RV Park is an excellent spot! Very nice with full hookups and huge sites. Bruneau Dunes State Park has 2 great campgrounds with electricity and water with large sites that feature grand views of the dunes. Tent camping is allowed at Bruneau but not at the RV park. There isn’t a bike shop in MH but there are several in Boise. I like Reed’s, Kore, and the Trek store where I bought my Farley. For Fat Bike Rentals contact McU Sports in Boise.
Thanks to Greg and Bryce for sharing such a beautiful location for fat bike fun! For more information about Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park visit – https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/bruneau-dunes/