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Great Sand Dunes National Park

"Their appearance was exactly that of a sea in a storm..." wrote Lt. Zebulon Pike on January 28, 1807. His little band was on foot. They had just crossed Medano Pass, midway on a journey to explore the headwaters of the Arkansas River. Boots having long since worn out, they crossed the Sangres shod in blanket remnants, frozen and hungry.

Only 75 minutes from La Veta, Colorado, the Dunes are among the half dozen most spectacularly beautiful and interesting locations in Colorado. The dunes enclosed by the National Park cover 30 square miles and rise over 700 feet tall at their peak. Several dune systems around the world are higher or larger than these, but they are all a product of desertification. Colorado's dunes are unusual in that they occur in a relatively wet corner of the San Luis Valley. Sand particles are blocked in their migration by a pocket of the great wall of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Beneath the valley's wind-leveled surface, groundwater forms an immense subterranean lake.

Heavy  Wind
Heavy Wind
Early Morning, San Luis Valley
Early Morning, San Luis Valley
Sundown
Sundown
Highlight
Highlight
Distant Dunes
Distant Dunes
t1%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f118078579.VNh0jHxm.jpg t1%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f118078113.DZwcrQbw.jpg t1%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f118017062.yZnmr3ep.jpg
t1%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f118016797.V4WWHKTT.jpg A Sliver of Morning
A Sliver of Morning
t1%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f117993567.kLkWLhrk.jpg t1%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f117977843.has2eErO.jpg
t1%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f117973507.Kze5cTKN.jpg The Dunes Trail
The Dunes Trail
Desert Color
Desert Color
September in the Dunes
September in the Dunes
The Dune Field
The Dune Field
t3%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f110520018.TiYxxyhp.jpg t1%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f110491260.C12EgUTy.jpg t3%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f110380134.VMTexJOX.jpg
View to Poncha Pass
View to Poncha Pass
The Southern Edge of the Dunes
The Southern Edge of the Dunes
Across the Dune Field
Across the Dune Field
Dropoff
Dropoff
Peaks in a Storm
Peaks in a Storm
t1%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f108087977.csQsIOhD.jpg Ripples
Ripples
Zapata
Zapata
High Frost
High Frost
Dune Wafers
Dune Wafers
Sledding on Mars
Sledding on Mars
Late Day on the Sangres
Late Day on the Sangres
In the Ice Domain
In the Ice Domain
Blanca Peak
Blanca Peak
Mt. Blanca
Mt. Blanca
As Thin as a Grain of Sand
As Thin as a Grain of Sand
Fragile Overhang
Fragile Overhang
t3%2f17%2f586817%2f4%2f107510591.NrOAOR5F.jpg A Bitterly Cold Day
A Bitterly Cold Day
Pathway to the Sky
Pathway to the Sky
On Top, Storm Rolling In
On Top, Storm Rolling In
The Speed of Sand
The Speed of Sand
Tumble
Tumble
San Luis Thunderstorm
San Luis Thunderstorm
Sandstorm
Sandstorm
A Non-Euclidean World
A Non-Euclidean World
Undecided
Undecided
Convenience
Convenience
You Go Right Ahead
You Go Right Ahead
Impossible Shapes
Impossible Shapes
Not Ready for the Wall
Not Ready for the Wall
Exhaustion Setting In
Exhaustion Setting In
The Moment of Chaos Makes a Dune
The Moment of Chaos Makes a Dune
Medano Creek
Medano Creek
Top of the Dunes
Top of the Dunes