September 2017
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My 2017 Western America Tour: Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park

I’ve been trying to route myself through the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve for a few years, but the trips have never quite worked out.

The goal was to find out if it is as awesome as an adult as it was when I was a kid.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Short Answer: Yes!

Long Answer: Next time I am going to time the trip so that I can get there when the sun is coming up and before it gets hot.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

I arrived at the park at about 10:00 on Tuesday – and although I had over a half liter of water on me, I decided to heed the warning signs that the sand gets hot. Because I was not wearing the recommended shoes – my comfortable sandals instead – ultimately I only hiked out to the first rise in the sand, where I watched people slide down and surf down the dunes for a while, before heading back to my car.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Along the way I got to listen to a woman and a man argue: she wanted to see the dunes, he wanted her to see the view from the top. He was carrying only a camera, she was slightly heavy and wearing a small backpack. They had quite the argument – I suspected she was right; the man appeared to have zero water on him. Later, as I started back to the car, I noticed that she was coming down, without the man; I thought about tell her that I admired her, but instead I kept my mouth shut.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

It’s easy to tell that the best times to be there are as the sun comes up (when it’s cool and you have time to hike to the top of the dunes before it gets hot) or in the evening as the skies turn red and shadows play across the dunes.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Next time…

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