Saturday, February 14, 2009

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

One of my earliest memories of visiting Colorado is going to the Great Sand Dunes. Of course, back then it was still just a National Monument, and didn't become a national park until the year 2004. These are the oldest photos that I have from the Sand Dunes. I would love to scan some photos of when I was little, but they are all at my mom's house in Oklahoma. This first group of photos is from August 1993.
The Great Sand Dunes are on the eastern side of the high mountain San Luis Valley and cover about 39 square miles and rise to almost 750 feet. The dunes were created by the wind and rain eroding the San Juan and Sangre De Cristo Mountains. They are always changing and always a fun and beautiful place to visit!
Here is our old Isuzu Trooper sharing the parking lot with a horse. We camped at the Sand Dunes and hiked around quite a bit. We even saw a lot of bats come out at night around the campground.
From what I remember, there was some kind of sand sculpture festival going on that week.
The next two are from August 1998, Garrett's first trip to Colorado. We really need to take the kids back there and camp this summer. Of course, one of our goals is to drive over Medano Pass, the four wheel-drive trail!


julie said...

That new scanner is keeping busy! Yes, the Sand Dunes are spectacular. We tried to see the bats fly last Summer, but got there too late. We may try again this Summer.

Anonymous said...

I do not remember the Sand Dunes. I do remember the name very well so that means i had to go by there.
I'm just noticing bare feet. I know that would be the only way to go. I tried shoes in California and some beaches here at home in OK. Too much sand in shoes. This looked like fun.

Louise said...

Thanks for this post! We pass the turn-off to there periodically when traveling but did not know much about it. I think it definitely looks worth a trip!

Janie said...

I have to look the Sand Dunes up. Looks like a fun place to ride or hike. We haven't explored Colorado much except for the San Juan mountains. Maybe this year we'll get over there and check out the terrain.
You're right, your posts on this blog are similar to mine. I like the format! :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

How funny! I was just telling my husband yesterday about how much I want to visit the Sand Dunes. We've been to the ones in Alamagordo, NM and had a great time. But I've been wanting to visit the CO sand dunes for many years. My neighbor friend and I were taking about how much fun it would be to trailer our horses up there and ride around the dunes and onto Mendano Jeep Trails.

Will have to be next summer when I'm finally recouped from my knee surgery, though.

Hey! Isn't there an alligator farm near the dunes, too?
Maybe that's another reason someone designed a gator for the sand sculpture festival.

Great pics and memories. Thanks for sharing!
Tijeras, NM

Lisa Wilson said...

There is an alligator place near the Sand Dunes. I think it is a rescue place, but I've never been there.