I love Colorado. The mountains. The canyons. The rivers. The sand. Wait, what? Sand? When thinking of Colorado, sand is not typically what comes to mind. Yet, this landlocked state is home to one of the most bizarre places, Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Great Sand Dunes National Park is located in southcentral Colorado in Alamosa County.
This unusual place is known for its towering sand dunes, the largest in North America. These dunes are ginormous, rising up to 750 feet tall.
How did all of this sand get here?
The valley on the west side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains was once covered with lakes. These lakes eventually dried up. Sand was left behind from the lakes. Sediments washed down from the mountains. Opposing winds from the east and west compressed the sand into these massive dunes.
Visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park
Visitors can explore the dunes on foot or rent boards or sleds to slide down the sandy slopes. There are also various hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to strenuous hikes.
Feel like getting wet? Bring a swimsuit. Medano Creek runs through the park near the dunes and is a popular place for kids of all ages to play.
Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. The park is home to numerous species of wildlife, such as elk, mule deer, black bears, and bighorn sheep.
Please note that services near the park are limited. Camping is available within the park. Also, the Great Sand Dunes Oasis hotel and restaurant is located just outside the park’s entrance and is open seasonally. And that’s it.
Alamosa, the most sizeable community in the area, is 38 miles away. Here you will find more options for lodging and dining.
Great Sand Dunes National Park is a great place to bring a picnic!
It is worth a drive to this remote area to see the dunes for yourself. Despite understanding how the dunes were formed, it still feels surreal. Undoubtedly, Great Sand Dunes National Park is an unforgettable experience.
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