Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Go West VI - Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Not the Sahara. No. Not the Arabian or the Gobi or the Kalahari. This is Colorado, the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado. They are the tallest in North America at 750 feet high. Winds blowing across the San Luis Valley brought sands from the San Juan Mountains and pilled them up at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains over a period of about 1 million years.

 Just to give you an idea of scale, those ant-like figures leaving behind trails of tiny tracks are people climbing the dunes, one standing triumphant at the top of High Dune. Average hiking time to the highest dune is about 4 hours round trip. Slipping and sliding in the sand is just part of the fun of going up. Rolling and tumbling down maybe the fastest way back!

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