Anyone been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park?

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Jay Miller
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Anyone been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park?

#1 Post by Jay Miller » April 17th, 2019, 8:14 am

I happened to see some pictures and it looked impressive. Worth visiting?

Given various unexpected expenses we're thinking of keeping our vacation domestic this year.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

Gordon Fitz
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Re: Anyone been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park?

#2 Post by Gordon Fitz » April 17th, 2019, 8:48 am

Been there on a couple of occasions. Interesting phenomenon and Park with great panaramic views. It’s not conveniently located close to anything. We’ve stopped by in route to camping trips in southern CO.

One is trudging up high sand dunes. It is not easy walking so carry plenty of water. Go in the morning before the sand heats up to much. Don’t go on a windy day or whenever rain or bad weather is predicted. Your out in the open, after leaving the display area. There is no shelter and no convenients. Walking back down hill isn’t much easier than walking out uphill. The sand is not sand like on a beach, but tiny particles of abrasive rocks that have blown from the beautiful mountains surrounding the area. It’s neither barefoot nor sandals sand. Wear good hiking shoes with socks.

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Mel Hill
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Re: Anyone been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park?

#3 Post by Mel Hill » April 17th, 2019, 8:52 am

we live a couple of hours north and have been once. Gordon's advice is spot on!
Going there during the surge flow is pretty cool if your timing works out
https://www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/medano-creek.htm
If you come to CO, you are welcome to come to dinner.

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Jay Miller
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Re: Anyone been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park?

#4 Post by Jay Miller » April 17th, 2019, 10:25 am

Thanks Gordon and Mel! I was considering a drive up from Santa Fe or to somewhere in Colorado (or vice versa) with multiple stops along the way.

But still very preliminary.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

Chris Oxford
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Re: Anyone been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park?

#5 Post by Chris Oxford » June 14th, 2019, 11:03 am

Jay -

Not sure if you've taken your trip but I thought I'd chime in anyway. Many people seem to enjoy the Sand Dunes, but I have never been there even though I am only about 1.25 hours N. If you are in that area, do check out Joyful Journey Hot Springs and or the Hooper Pools if you are into that type of stuff. Our town (Salida, CO) is very much a tourist destination for mtn biking, hiking, river activities, breweries, distilleries, etc. Let me know if you need any additional local info.

Chris

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David K o l i n
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Re: Anyone been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park?

#6 Post by David K o l i n » June 14th, 2019, 11:31 am

You can always do the more moderate dunes National park and follow up with chillin’ in Chicago

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyl ... story.html

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John Chapman
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Re: Anyone been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park?

#7 Post by John Chapman » June 14th, 2019, 11:55 am

Sand dunes is worth a visit if it's not too far out of your way. My wife's dad (and many generations before) came from the surrounding San Luis valley. That area is a very beautiful place, but not very touristy in the traditional sense. Alamosa is a nice mid-sized town, the Sangre de Cristo mountain range looms nearby making for lovely views.

If you're spending time in Santa Fe (there and Taos are certainly great places to visit) you could also consider heading to southwestern Colorado to visit the Durango area, see the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde, and with enough time head further up to Telluride or Ouray. Lots of neat places.

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Jay Miller
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Re: Anyone been to the Great Sand Dunes National Park?

#8 Post by Jay Miller » June 17th, 2019, 7:45 am

Thank you everyone! This year's vacation is been totally up in the air what with Arnold's father passing away earlier this year, his mother's planned cancer surgery for later this year and (hopefully) his own ankle surgery which he's been putting off due to his parents' issues.

He's eating through his substantial accrued vacation time at a rapid pace so we may end up needing to pass entirely this year.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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