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Friday, March 24, 2017

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - snow covered

Welcome to Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado!
What a SHOCK going from +90F weather to below freezing in just a couple days. That's what happened to us as we headed north from Arizona / New Mexico to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The day we visited the park, it was blanketed with about six inches of snow from the previous night. It surprised us as there was no snow in Amorosa, Colorado where we had stayed the night (about 35 miles from the park). We joked that it looked like White Sands National Monument which we had visited a few days earlier!  

Great Sand Dunes National Park has the tallest sand dunes in North America. They are HUGE! The quartz sand dunes are at the foot of Sangre de Cristo Mountains which are a sub range of the Rocky Mountains. Sangre de Cristo is Spanish for Blood of Christ.

The weather limited what we could do at the park. Basically we drove through it, toured the visitors center, and did some short hikes. Like White Sands you can sled the dunes even in the summer - there were lots of pictures and videos of folks doing this. We hope to visit again once the weather is warmer as it was listed as the top place to camp in Colorado. 
Oh my, what is this white stuff?
Guess the socks are needed again!
Those are the dunes, bright white from the recent snow.

Water from the melting snow is welcome in this high desert.
These dunes are huge - see the guy in the red circle for perspective.

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