For anyone who has ever camped, hiked the massive sand dunes, kayaked the calm waters, sandboarded, or taken a look into outer space from Bruneau Dunes State Park, you know how magical of a place it is. The park's observatory has just added a second sky viewing area and is in the process of testing its new, state-of-the-art telescope.

Spending time at Bruneau Dunes State Park is like stepping into an entirely foreign reality, one that offers such visually-stimulating features it's hard to believe it exists on Earth. Kayaking while surrounded by 400-foot dunes of white, warm sand was one of the coolest summer experiences I've ever had.

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I've written about the park multiple times, including one unforgettable weekend my family and I shared in August of 2022. It's one of my favorite places to kayak in the state, and staring up to the sky from a park firepit offers a view that's hard to beat. Unfortunately, my only visit to the observatory was in the summer of 2020, and Covid-19 made it impossible for me to take a look inside.

Bruneau Dunes State Park 2020: Photo Greg Jannetta

I found myself on the park's official Facebook page recently and saw some pictures I'm sure will excite Idahoans throughout the state. I reached out to Park Manager Bryce Bealba and was granted permission to share photos of the new facility addition, which are compliments of area photographer Doug Stoneback.

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Doug Stoneback
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Doug Stoneback

The improved public observatory features a new CDK 700 Telescope and is scheduled to be unveiled to the general public by May of this year. I can't wait to take the family out for an evening of stargazing soon.

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