The Great Sand Dunes are nestled against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
In 1976 the Great Sand Dunes wilderness area was established. In 2004 the Great Sand Dunes system was designated a National Park. Although the national park and national preserve are two units, they are managed jointly. The national preserve is part of the Sangre de Cristo wilderness area, established in 1993.
Our first stop was at the visitor center where we got a map and talked to a Ranger. He told us we could walk anywhere we wanted on the sand dunes.
What he DID NOT tell us was that we were going to have to cross water!
A whole lot of sand!
We saw a few folks sliding down the ridges.
While I rested Mark kept on going:
It’s hard walking up a sand dune! One step up and two steps back.
I finally caught up with Mark and we reached our destination.
Next time: It's a lot easier coming down!