Greetings from Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

I visited a national park for the first time in August of 2022. Growing up in urban New Jersey, it was quite a culture shock to suddenly be amidst the San Juan mountains of Colorado. I went to the Great Sand Dunes National Park as part of my orientation for AmeriCorps in Alamosa. Being new to the altitude, I struggled a bit to get over some of the dunes. The entire experience, however, was very reminiscent of my days along the Jersey Shore. Unlike urban New Jersey, the Great Sand Dunes offered a fantastic view of the San Juan mountains, plenty of clean air, and a beautiful view of the starry night sky. I spent a few days and nights throughout the year traversing the dunes with friends, and I can distinctly recall a night where we bought blankets and hung out under the stars. I will cherish my days at the park for the rest of my life.


Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

How can something that is constantly shifting stand up to 750 feet tall? This southwestern park features the largest sand dunes in North America, and the key to their extraordinary height seems to lie in the combination of strong opposing winds and the presence of rivers and creeks, which capture drifting sands and redeposit them back on the dunes. Some of these remarkable hills are formations known as star dunes, molded by complex wind patterns into multi-pronged shapes, which look a bit like starfish from above.

State(s): Colorado

Established: 2004

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  • Greetings from Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

    I visited when this used to be a National Monument and returned years later when it grew up to become a National Park. Forest, river, sand dune, mountains topped with snow capped peaks I see a natural layer cake.

  • Greetings from Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

    I moved to CO after my high school graduation to establish residency and then attend the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. I loved CO and never lacked for visits from friends and family who wanted to visit me (or more likely visit Colorado! : ). I used these visits…

  • Greetings from Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

    Great Sand Dunes in Colorado took my breath away both figuratively and literally (we live near the Texas coast). The dunes are a true wonder with their tan soaring peaks in contrast to the surrounding jagged mountains. I love this place. It's unlike anyplace I've ever been. Driving up to…


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