For years, I've wanted to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The dunes are about four hours South of Denver in the San Luis Valley and are the largest sand dunes in North America. The dunes cover almost 20,000 acres of land and are up to 750 feet tall.
Today was a gorgeous day in Colorado-with crisp, vivid blue skies, so my sister and I decided to make the trek down to the dunes. Along the way we stopped in Colorado Springs to make a quick pass through the Garden of the Gods. The red rocks were beautiful and made an excellent picnic spot for our breakfast.
The journey to the dunes was an interesting one. The scenery changed so much along the way. The dunes are pretty isolated. The valley that they are in is incredibly vast and open. It seemed like we drove through the valley forever- with the mountains looming off in the distance. As we finally closed in on the mountains, the sand dunes became visible. When approaching, the mountains seem to dwarf the dunes, but once we pulled up to the park it became apparent just how endless and tall the dunes really were. We grabbed our backpack, water, and cameras and started the hike onto the dunes.
As we started our approach to the dunes, we realized what a climb we had ahead of us. I think we both forgot what a workout it can be to walk through sand on a beach- now take that feeling and add a steep incline! The sand was powdery and soft, so we definitely got our exercise ascending the dunes. It was absolutely mind-blowing. It was a bit like standing on the shore of the ocean and feeling small and insignificant. Except it was more dream-like than that. It felt like being in the middle of an ocean with huge waves peaking all around you- except those waves were made of sand. I felt like I had been dropped into some surrealist painting or another planet. It was such an inspiring landscape!