Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

"I grow very fond of this place, and it certainly has a desolate, grim beauty of its own, that has a curious fascination for me." - Theodore Roosevelt jr

I'm dedicating this adventure to the great teddy Roosevelt Jr.because without him we wouldn't have the national park system.

cheers to you teddy!

Presidents day weekend and I needed to feed my wanderlust. There wasn’t any new snow and I definitely didn’t want to be surrounded by huge crowds. The idea of a ski trip was thrown out. day dreaming of all the summer activities I couldn’t do... I think thats called the "February Blues"... well I shook those real quick once I remembered Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve!

*** Light bulb turns on ***

Perfect destination for a quick weekend get away! There was sunshine in the forecast, I found a super cute & affordable Air BnB + I could explore somewhere new! And the best part… this area is pretty slow in the winter so I didn’t have to deal with tons of people!

Alamosa is the closet city to Great Sand Dunes National Park, I say city lightly. Alamosa is small, quaint and one of those places where all the locals know each other. Since it was still too cold to camp, staying in Alamosa the was the best bet. I’m sure things pick up with tourist in the summer, but February was pretty quiet and mysterious. I found this charming house with an eclectic host, Laura, right off main street! Laura is very easy going and friendly * Hi Laura * + Molly, her adorable 4 legged furry friend is like a jolly giant. Molly pretty much just hangs out unless you introduce yourself, then she is all about the belly rubs! The space was PERFECT --- We had a private lofted area to ourselves with plenty of room to spread out our crap + a private bathroom. And wifi. Because we all know that after being disconnected, sometimes we just need to post some sneak peaks. Also, there’s the San Louis Valley Brewing Company LITERALLY 2 blocks away. I recommend the $10 beer flight + happy hour!

Now the real reason you're here!

Great Sand Dunes National Park & preserve is located in the San Louis Valley, south-west of Denver on the border of Colorado and New Mexico. These GIANT dunes of sand * hence the name * were created by heavy winds pushing over the western slope while wind from the East barrels down the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains.

These are the LARGEST sand dunes in North America and some of the most intricate + fragile dunes in the world.

The largest dune is over 500 feet tall!

Look how tiny those people are!

You see that tiny red blob? It's actually a pretty big kite!

How cool is that?

If you make a trip to the dunes, chances are you probably won't see anyone kite surfing. to my knowledge this is pretty rare. we met these veterans traveling across the states to preform some serious stunts, they even helped me solve some camera troubles...

* shout out to all our vets and those still serving *

But you can bring a snowboard and turn it into a sand board!

I chickened out and rode down on my butt. it's surprising how steep these things are! Don't tell anyone, but I can be a huge wimp sometimes.i do know that it can be done. my friend matt jumped on his board and carved like it was no big deal * shout out to matt *

One cool little fact about the sand dunes is there are no trails! So you can literally walk anywhere you want! We had to head down because there was a pretty big storm brewing and lightning is a huge threat here in Colorado.

Like i said earlier, the dunes sit next to the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains... Here they are with Mt. Herard in the back…

and from a bird…

there's more to the sand dunes then sand. there's a river that flows during the summer where people play, in the winter its frozen and perfect to hike on. might have been one of my favorite parts from my visit since i know not many people get to experience it like this. plus, the frozen ice makes some pretty cool designs!

And that was my super quick and spontaneous trip to great sand dunes national park & preserve! I've added all of my pictures to a gallery for easy viewing below, I hope you enjoy them as much as I love sharing with you!

come join me for an adventure soon!

love & light

- kristen claire


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