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Jul 06

Great Sand Dunes National Park: Dunes at Sunrise

Sunrise Great Sand Dunes National ParkI had never been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and was excited at the possibility of photographing such a unique place.  Probably not too many places in the world where there are towering mountains, large sand dunes, and a creek.  Knowing it was late June I figured the most enjoyable time to photograph was sunrise before the dunes had a chance to heat up.  Now it was not enjoyable to wake up and head out the hotel door around 4:00 in the morning in Alamosa to get to the dunes an hour before sun up so I could climb to the top. 
Great Sand Dunes NPThe Great Sand Dunes National Park is beautiful in its own way and getting to see the rise on top of the dunes was something I will take with me for the rest of my life.  I will also remember the long slough up to the top of the dunes also.  There is no marked trail in the dunes so looking for others footprints tends to help or stick to the crests, but even that can be a rough go.  It is amazing the difference between compacted sand and soft sand, soft sand was like having a workout and a half and going through the compacted sand was like a breeze.  The only problem for me when I was there was I never knew what I was going to get.  Every dozen or so yards it would change on me. 
Colorado Sand DunesI did get a chuckle out of walking towards the dunes around 4:30 in the morning without another soul in sight.  I pictured somebody watching me carrying my tripod towards the dunes like I was creating some sort of SurvivorMan television show.   It was a great experience and I highly recommend it to anybody that is physically able to do it.  If you do decide to walk the dunes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park make sure you bring plenty of water, take the proper precautions because of the high altitude, and use common sense. 

For more information on the Great Sand Dunes National Park go to their website at  http://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm or to see our of adventures at the America’s National Parks click here

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1 comment

  1. freda

    Beautiful. Glad you took the pictures, I could never get up at 4:00am and HIKE to the top of the dunes. Now I get to just look at the pictures you took and enjoy them.

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