By Request… Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park is a truly unique place though, it’s true, it’s no Yellowstone. What there is to see there, is, well, limited to what there is to see but, as with the San Luis Valley as a whole, it’s understated and captivating. I’ve taken a lot of photos most of which I can’t find this morning. My first jaunt out there with my neighbors back in 2016.

The water phenomenon you see in the featured photo is the snow melt creek — Medano Creek — that turns the Sand Dunes into a beach in spring. If you just landed here and didn’t look around, seeing the families with coolers, beach umbrellas and boogie boards you’d think “WTF? Where AM I?”

Another interesting phenomenon I discovered on my first visit is that it’s impossible to take a focused photo of the dunes themselves. Huh? Why? Because the sand is ALWAYS moving.

They are about 50 miles from Monte Vista, across potato fields.

The formation of the dunes is a fascinating story you can learn about here. Humans have been hanging around there for thousands of years, not all with coolers and boogie boards, but Clovis Points and flaking tools have been discovered and are displayed in the beautiful visitor’s center. The Sand Dunes is also an internationally designated Dark Sky Area.

The photos below reflect several visits out to the Dunes. One thing I want to do and haven’t done is visit them when they are covered in snow.

23 thoughts on “By Request… Great Sand Dunes National Park

  1. Thanks, drove over to the Dunes on our San Luis valley visit. Can’t walk good enough for sand but always enjoy driving to and from and around the camp ground etc. LF 

  2. Lake Michigan also has great dunes. We met our relatives from Detroit at Warren Dunes State Park to camp every summer. I went back as an adult and it was not recognizable. The dunes had shifted inland and the former campground was buried.

  3. I visited there! I didn’t know you in 2010 – and maybe you were still in California then… We liked them but were not surprised since we have lived near the Indiana Dunes and have visited there (and in Michigan) on many occasions. The photos are really pretty…

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