Sand dunes, a river, mountains and trees. What more could you ask for all in one spot?
It is a pretty phenomenal place. It’s like the Sahara Desert, only in America. Just imagine, you’re hiking up sand that disperses with your steps, a breeze whips your hair and sand swirls around your ankles, and you can’t gasp for enough air. It feels like you aren’t moving much but before you know it, you’re peaking over the top of a dune. Then, there’s another, bigger dune after it. Never ending hills of sand. But really, it feels like a play ground!
The dunes were formed from sand and soil deposits of the Rio Grande river, flowing through the valley. Over time, glaciers feeding the river and the vast lake that existed upon the valley melted, and the waters evaporated. Winds picked up sand particles from the lake and river. As the wind lost power, the sand was deposited on the edge of the valley.
We stayed at the main campground, Pinon Flats. We could walk to the dunes from our site. Many people trek up the soft mountains at night for better traction, the night sky, and people even pitch tents to spend the night!
During the day, the sand is hot (can reach up to 150 degrees), yet the river water is a perfect temperature, shallow and feels great to stroll away from the crowds. It’s like a beach in the mountains! People often rent sandboards and sleds from a lodge down the road, and they work! I would not bring snow sleds, you’ll just sink into the sand.
Dogs are also allowed on the dunes, which is absolutely wonderful! We don’t want to leave our babies behind.
The sunsets are gorgeous, especially at the top of a dune. The weather is pretty unpredictable here. For instance, it can downpour for 3 minutes, completely stop, and then start up again. Or it could be a calm day, but have sudden strong gusts of wind. The first time we visited in the Spring of 2014, huge snowflakes fell to the dunes. It was wasn’t too cold out, so it made for an interesting experience.
I would highly recommend coming to this southern Colorado national park if you are interested in sand dunes, even for a day. The museum is a great stop to understanding the sand dunes (how they were formed, how weather effects them, etc.).
Until next week,
- To view more pictures of this National Park , check our Facebook page out! CBreaze OnTheRoad
- Be sure to take a look at our Etsy Shop as well! Rugs OnTheRoad
Round Magenta Jute Rug
Heavy duty! Knotted. To clean it, all you do is spray it with a hose! Will last for MANY years! Made with a toothbrush handle as a ‘needle’ to make knots. Made out of thick jute and magenta twine; it’s knotted together to survive tough situations. Suitable for outdoor wonders; on the patio, front porch, door mat, garage, front door mat, etc. Any place that you’d want to capture the mud from coming inside! It’s TOUGH! Measuring at 24″ diameter. FREE SHIPPING!