I am amazed by how many different ecosystems are thriving simultaneously in Idaho. From alpine forests and meadows, to river valleys and meandering streams, to deserts and dry grasslands. The St. Anthony sand dunes are currently located about 15 miles north of Rexburg. These colossal dunes are not a permanent feature of the surrounding land, well, permanent in our limited view of time. In fact, these dunes are migrating north east and in time could completely disappear or be buried by other sediment! The tallest dunes are located in the southwestern section of the formation where they reach heights of over 500 feet!
The dunes are a popular spot for many activities, especially bonfires, fireworks, 4-wheeling, stargazing, and sledding. Unfortunately people have ignored wisdom and decided to burn pallets in the dunes, leaving rusted nails in the sand. The nails are generally isolated along the dunes closest to the Red Road parking lot, and in the areas between dunes where people tend to camp and shelter in the evenings. Basaltic volcanic rocks are spread through the dunes, primarily in the depressions between dunes, keep that in mind when sledding as to not hurt yourself at the bottom of the hill. Also, be mindful of fire ban laws during the dry late summer and fall months where even just a spark could set the whole sage brush fields to the east and north ablaze. Lastly, though the dunes aren't permanent and seem indestructible, keep in mind that they are home to many species of unique plant and animal life. Help us preserve this truly marvelous formation for as long as possible. With all that in mind, I still recommend many visits to this incredible spot! With safety in mind, and a touch of wisdom, you'll have a blast no matter the activity you choose to do!
I highly recommend visiting the dunes any time of year. Star gazing remains my favorite activity here, with bonfires coming in a close second. Beautiful sunsets grace your eyes and reflect across the sand/snow in a fiery display. 360 degree panorama views of the before mentioned mountain ranges and valleys lay before you, as well, and offer a great backdrop for pictures and photoshoots. Finally, sledding is truly an extreme sport in these steep hills and deep snow! I am impressed with the thrill and physical effort required to sled these monstrous dunes. Though that may be exaggerated some for those with exceptional stamina, these dunes will put most sledding hills to shame! So grab your friends, some sleds, and head up north for day and night sledding!
Here are a few pictures from several of my recent trips to the dunes, enjoy!!