I never would have picked the Bruneau Sand Dunes as a place I wanted to camp over Memorial Day Weekend. Thanks to a good friend I was able to see a whole new universe!

Kate McGwire Photos

When I was kid and we went camping that meant that we were in the middle of nowhere with no other person around and definitely no bathroom to use. Oh, and there had to be trees and a river running through it. And still to this day that is my idea of camping. The thought of going to the sagebrush desert with lots of other campers and bathroom with showers is something I never would have chosen for myself. Thank goodness I have friends like Dave Burnett to show me there is an entire other world of camping out there!

I'm just going to say it, Bruneau Dunes State Park is super cool! And hot all at the same time! Things to know: There is not a lot of shade. Bring an awning if you are tent camping (me) or a 5th wheel with AC and shade built in (Dave and everyone else there). There is a huge bathroom with running water, sinks, toilets and showers. And the one thing I didn't know until this past weekend, there is an observatory at Bruneau Dunes State Park. Apparently this part of the state has the least amount of ambient light and the star gazing is amazing. It's one of the largest observatories in the Northwest. And this is where you get to go into "The Obsession" aka the building in the picture on our homepage. It rotates and can show you some pretty cool things up close and personal, like Jupiter!

Star gazing is not the only attraction at Bruneau Dunes State Park. If you choose, you can climb North America's largest single-structure sand dune. Or sit at the bottom and watch teenagers go sand riding on snowboards. You can fish for bass or bluegill in the lake. Or do like Gunner and I did and just sit in the water and cool off. Explore the beautiful desert scenery, look at the geological features and so much more. Or sit in your lawn chair with a beer in hand and enjoy the heat after a long winter, like I did.

Like I said, this was not somewhere I would have normally picked to visit but now that I have, I would highly recommend it to you and the family. It really is something to gaze at.