Today I spent from sunrise to sunset revisiting Great Sand Dunes National Park and taking photos to record what I saw.
From the Great Sand Dunes Lodge where we stayed, I went out before sunrise and saw the dunes in semi darkness. They were stark, almost uninviting.
Great Sand Dunes at dawn.
Soon enough the sun rose over the Sangre De Cristo mountains, setting clouds (it had rained the night before) on fire.
Sun rising behind the Sangre De Cristo mountains.
Finally sunlight fell on the dunes, a scene I won’t ever forget.
Great Sand Dunes bathed in early morning light.
Later on I went on a short hike up to an overlook point on a nearby hill. Clouds filled most of the sky, but once in a while enough sunlight came through to illuminate parts of the dunes.
Great Sand Dunes from overlook point.
As noon approached, the dunes revealed more and more of their beauty.
Great Sand Dunes around noon time.
Later in the afternoon, I went back and walked toward the dunes, following hikers of all ages.
Great Sand Dunes in late afternoon.
There were hikers on their way up to High Dune (650 ft) or even Star Dune (750 ft).
Some even ran down the slopes leaving trails of dust behind them.
Great Sand Dunes National Park is a very family friendly park. I saw parents with kids hiking along the mountain trails around the dunes, or running up the dunes and sliding or simply rolling down the slopes. In the spring and early summer, snow melt produces enough water for Medano Creek which runs right next to the dunes. The creek, with about a foot of water, is then a great playground for youngsters.