Following more than a year of closure due to the Coronavirus, the Bruneau Dunes State Park Observatory has opened back up for weekend group private event viewing.

Last summer we spent an evening camping at Bruneau Dunes State Park, which is located 84 miles northwest of Twin Falls. It was my first experience visiting the location that offers some of the tallest sand dunes in North America. We had planned to get some dune climbing, kayaking and stargazing in while in the park. We found out shortly after entering the park that the observatory was closed because of the virus.

The trip, overall, was pleasant. I was surprised at how great the kayaking is inside the grounds. We managed some time on the dunes, and took some walks around the park. Just days ago, Bruneau Dunes State Park made the announcement on its website that the observatory has reopened, and is offering groups of 15 the opportunity to view on Friday and Saturday nights.

The cost to view the sky through their 25-inch diameter telescope at the park's observatory is $70 (plus tax), according to the website. Water has also been restored to all facilities, which are all open currently. Park officials also are encouraging mask wearing inside the observatory; social-distancing and hand washing is also encouraged.

For park information, camping reservations, or other inquiries, call 888-922-6742. The observatory will be open through mid-October, and all events are weather permitting. For information specific to the park's observatory, call 208-366-7919.

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