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Great Sand Dunes National Park

America's Sahara!

sunny 85 °F

After a side trip to visit Maggie's family in Nebraska for several days, our National Parks journey continues...

OK, this is the only time I'm going to say this: GO SEE THIS PARK! And the reason I'm adamant about it is because Great Sand Dunes National Park is not one on many people's lists. In fact, it's one of the least visited national parks. But it's AMAZING! 30 square miles of giant sand dunes. The highest one is 750 feet high. We only ventured onto one of the smaller ones because we weren't dressed right (needed shorts, it was warm), we left our hiking sticks in the RV (we saw some people with ski poles, which made the climb look easier), and we were running out of time because we arrived a day behind schedule and we still needed to go to the visitors center which closed at 5pm. So if you're going, stop at the visitors center first and then go hiking. I wish we had made it to the top so we could have seen the entire dune field first-hand. But it was still AWESOME!

When you arrive at the dune field parking lot, you must walk through thick sand for about a quarter mile before you even get to an actual dune. After trudging for a while, we discovered that the walk was easier if you strode in others' footprints. And the sand seemed to be a little more firmly packed on the ridges of the dunes, so that was easier. The entire San Luis Valley by the way, is about 8,000 feet up so our breathing was definitely affected. But we had a BLAST!

Here are the pics (make sure you click on the photos link in the right sidebar to see them larger and in all their GLORY!):


And finally, an amazing sunset viewed from our campsite:


Campground Review

We stayed at the Great Sand Dunes Oasis RV Park. This was basically a large gravel parking lot with full hook-ups, located on the hill above the campground office. A nice location with a great view of the dunes and only four miles from the park entrance gate, so an easy bike ride...we thought! The wind was pretty strong on the way back so a little bit of a fight, but certainly doable.

Next, on to Mesa Verde National Park.

Posted by travelswitz 17:35 Archived in USA Tagged colorado sand dunes

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