25 Jul Great Sand Dunes National Park
The Great Sand Dunes was our first stop on our Southwest National Park Tour this summer. The Dunes are located in Colorado next to the Rocky Mountains, not your typical dessert vibe location. It’s pretty cool to drive up and see these big sand dunes next to the mountains. The day we visited was overcast and a little cool temperature wise, this ended up being the best thing as far as enjoying our time in the dunes. In the summer the sand temperature can get up to 140 degrees mid day.
If you visit in the summer remember to bring hiking or tennis shoes and some endurance. The dunes don’t look that far, once you get walking up the sand dunes, its a great leg and cardio work out plus your at 7500-10,000 feet in elevation.
The dunes formed over thousands of years from westerly winds blown over the Rockies down the river flood plan. The sand lands at the east edge of the valley before the wind rises to cross the Sangre de Cristo mountains. With the winds continuing, the dunes are continuing to enlarge. The Great Sand Dunes were named a National Park in November of 2000.
Taking a break after hiking up on of the larger dunes. You will definitely want to bring water to drink to rehydrate and cool off on hotter days.
You can also rent sand boards to ride the dunes. There is a rental store located about a half hour from the park. It had sprinkled off and on the day we visited which made the sand less slick to ride boards. We had a great time hiking up the sand dunes and taking in the mountain views. Definitely worth the visit!