Great Sand Dunes Recap

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Length of Stay:

  • 3 days, 4 nights

High:

  • Meeting so many new friends; it’s encouraging to encounter fellow travelers who are just as passionate about nature as I am

Low:

  • Sun exhaustion my second day (the weather is deceptive since constant wind makes the sun feel much less intense than it is)

Favorite Hike:

  • Mosca Pass
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This 7.5 mile hike felt like a happy fairy tale

Favorite Treat:

  • Watching the sun set over the Dunes at the same time a full moon rose over the mountains
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The full moon was rising behind me

Favorite Random Moment:

  • Using a sun telescope for the first time and viewing a solar flare

 

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Dunes, Dunes, Dunes!

The views are spectacular and the hiking trails are out of this world, but the real bread-and-butter of this park is the Dunes.

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The Dunes with the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the background

A little education:

  • The sand you see at the Dunes is the tip of the iceberg… literally. Expert researchers have investigated and realized that there is way more sand underneath.
  •  If you take a magnet, plunge it into the sand, it will come out full of magnetite, an eroded mineral from the nearby mountains. I tried this. It was neat.
  • The sand particles at the Dunes goes through a cycle: strong southwesterly winds blow them, and then running water from nearby creeks carries them back.

 

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This was the bunny hill I warmed up on before hitting some of the bigger slopes

A little fun:

I rented a sandboard and spent a whole morning playing around in the sand. I almost got the hang of it by the end.