St. Anthony Sand Dunes
Looking North from the top of Menan Butte
The largest set of sand dunes in Idaho covers 175 square miles and is visible from here. When sand grains are lifted by the wind, they bounce along the surface like a basketball. Eventually, they are stopped by a bush or a rock. The sand grains will stack up on each other forming a dune. This is how the St. Anthony Sand Dunes were formed. Can you see the white dunes from here? You can see North Menan Butte from the sand dunes...just check out the photo below.
They are approximately 35 miles long and 5 miles wide. Dunes are from 50 to 400 feet tall and consist of sand made up mostly of white quartz peppered with black basalt.
St. Anthony Sand Dunes are called barchan dunes because they form sharp crescents that resemble ram’s horns. At St. Anthony, the tips of the horn-shaped dunes face northeast which indicate the winter winds from the southwest seem to move the sand. Southwest winds have also created the elongated shape of both Menan Butte volcanoes. Off-road recreational vehicle use is encouraged on open sand only at St. Anthony Sand Dunes.