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Day 4: Great Sand Dunes

Today's adventure was at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. At 750ft/229m, they are the tallest sand dunes in North America. The dunes lie at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in south-central Colorado. We had a great time trying to sled on the sand and earning more junior ranger badges... plus we got to meet up with some friends from our last post in Jeddah!

Our Visit on Video

I visited Great Sand Dunes on my family's big western road trip in 1990. It made a big impression on me, so I wanted to take our girls there on our way through Colorado. The geology of the area is interesting, and a little complicated. New research has changed the theory about why these sand dunes are even here. Scientists now posit that the sand originated from the surrounding mountain ranges and the dunes were created as ancient lakes dried.

For our visit, we stayed at the Great Sand Dunes Lodge, which overlooks the Dunes.
The view from our room this morning.
The view is the best thing about this hotel. The room was small and we were cramped, despite being assured it would accommodate six people. There is a restaurant down the hill from the hotel. The food is just passable and they stop seating for dinner at 7:30pm. However, they have a nice selection of local mircrobrews in the beer cooler in the co-located gift shop. This is the only restaurant within 25 miles of the Dunes, so I guess they can do what they want.

We finished up our visit by picnicking with our friends. Astonishingly, it rained on us. I hoped that some of the rain would hit the Spring Creek area, squelching the fire, but I doubt it did. Rain in Colorado can be very localized.
These ex-Jeddahawis snapped this selfie after getting soaked at our picnic.

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