NP Photo

Day 1 / 1

Originally, I had planned to camp on the Camp Grounds last night, but when we arrived it was pouring rain. I had camped in the rain before, but it wasn't fun, and I didn't have to set up everything in the rain. This time I would have had to set up in the rain, and, it was still quite early in the day, and there would have been nothing to do. Instead we got a hotel room for the evening and worked out an early morning start for the next day.

It turned out that the rain was a blessing in disguise because it made the sand hard packed and easier to walk on than if it were normal. However, even hard pack sand is still sand, and it seems like the entire state of Colorado exists in a wind tunnel. Blowing sand is horrible, and it gets absolutely everywhere! While it wasn't very cold out, we were still bundled up like it was ski weather, protecting every bit of ourselves from the piercing, blowing, dangerous sand.

You cannot really appreciate a sand dune until you try to climb it. Because, if you make it to the top, there's usually another one past it, and another one, and another one. In our case, there were 30 square miles of them. We didn't hike over that many, not even close. Though I did loose track of how many peaks we crested thinking that it would get better after the next one.

It was fun to watch people sand board. We thought about renting a set for ourselves, but then that would require carrying it the entire time, and more importantly, making the trip back across Medano Creek, and up some dunes. No thank you, instead, we watched others have fun and eat sand.

After a brief hike around Medano Creek looking for wildlife (of which we sadly found none), we headed to the visitor center looking for some more quick information. We managed to watch a quick video they were showing before the center closed for the day. After that, we made our way out.

We were treated to a gorgeous view of the afternoon Sun casting long deep shadows on the dune field. It was really something you just don't expect to see. We stood by the side of the road and took in the view, took some photos, and then started the long drive up to Denver, our national park adventure, sadly over.

  • 3.5milesHiking icon
  • 1.5hoursScenic Drive icon
    Scenic Drive

I have a handheld GPS unit that comes in really handy for tracking the many miles of activity I did in . Below you can see the highlights from my trips there.