Did you know that the tallest sand dunes in all of North America are in Colorado? Seems odd, huh? I would think it would either be along the coast somewhere or maybe in the Arizona deserts, but actually you’ll find them in southern Colorado. As you may know, one of the items on my Bucket List is to visit every National Park in the U.S. On Friday we visited Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona (more on that soon). Yesterday we visited Great Sand Dunes National Park!
Here’s the view from the visitor center! Isn’t it gorgeous. When we were there a monsoon storm was coming in from the east so the dark clouds cast shadows on the mountains and the dunes creating an ever-changing canvas of colors.
Summer’s not the best time to visit the park because the temperatures on the dunes can reach the mid-100′s (F). We were smart enough to stay away from walking on the sand, but since we were in the area, it was still nice to get a preview of the place in case we want to come back and visit again sometime. If you have a chance to visit the NPS website, you’ll see that there is really quite a bit to do around there besides just running around on the dunes. Looks like there’s a seasonal river, lake, waterfall, wildlife, beautiful fall and spring color, camping, hiking, etc. I definitely think it’s worth another trip.
You can explore any part of the 30 square mile dunefield you wish; there are no designated trails in the sand. And there’s even a sand dunes-accessible wheelchair available for free loan at the Visitor Center for those who aren’t quite as mobile.
Here are a few of the photos we took during our short visit. We saw Pronghorn and Mule Deer as well as the expected chipmunks and squirrels. Let me know if you’ve been there and what was the most fun for you during your visit.