Every Thursday, I will be posting a photo from my travels and a spotlight on the location. Today’s Spotlight Thursday is from Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in San Luis Valley, Colorado. I have visited this park twice during my internship in Colorado during the summer of 2012. This is one of the items from my Colorado Bucket List. Great Sand Dunes and I have a love-hate relationship.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is one of the newest national parks in the system. It was elevated from a national monument on September 13, 2004. The park includes 44,246 acres, and the preserve is 41,686 acres. The dunes are over 750 ft high and the tallest in North America. They are found at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Range.
I love Great Sand Dunes. Great Sand Dunes hates me.
My first trip to the park was suppose to be a weekend camping in the park. I wanted to hike to the top of the Great Dune. I arrived at the park to discover it was Fee-Free Weekend and all the camping in the park and nearby was full and overflowing. I had to turn my trip into a day trip instead of an overnight. I decided to hike up to the top of Great Dune but about halfway up a storm started rolling in and I had to abort the hike.
My second trip to Great Sand Dunes was about 3 weeks later. The weather was not looking promising, but I decided to try and hike the dune anyway. I didn’t mind a little rain. Now lighting on the other hand, was an issue. I turned around and returned to my campsite and would try again in the morning. In the morning, my car wouldn’t start. So no morning dune hike.