Great Sand Dunes trip - Sat/Sun 5/6 June, 2004

The Great Sand Dunes are an amazing natural wonder. They are very close to a mountain range called Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Strong winds erode soil from far away and carries the sand up to the mountains. The wind can't carry the sand over the mountains and the sand settles at the area where the sand dunes are. The Great Sand Dunes are the result of thousands of years of the sand building up. The sand dunes are so huge that it will amaze just about anybody that visits there. The Sand Dunes are near a township called Alamosa, which is about 4 hours drive south of Boulder. It was great fun to camp there near the dunes overnight.

This is a photo taken somewhere near our campsite. The mountains are just behind the sand dunes.

This is one of our tents that we had set up before going to see the sand dunes.

This photo was taken when we were walking up to the dunes from the visitors carpark. Unfortunately, the dark clouds built up overhead and even started to rain! We weren't too impressed about that. But nature is nature! :)

My friend Michio took this for me. It was quite dark due to the rain clouds above. I wore last year's Bolder Boulder marathon shirt for the trip. I needed the long sleeves for sunburn protection! I have layers of clothes underneath since the temperature was kind of cold. Hence the chubby look hehe.

This is a photo looking upwards toward one of the peaks of the dune. The weather started to improve and it got brighter. There are about 3 people in this picture. But they are merely very tiny specks, which shows just how big the sand dunes are. From where I am standing, it would take maybe an hour or more to hike up to the peak. Hiking up to the peak is not easy because the sand is often quite soft and a lot of energy is needed to walk up the dunes.

This shows a mountain top in the background, and there's snow on the mountain top.

I captured this photo on the following morning (sunday morning) just after the sun had come up. I felt as if I was looking an egyptian desert.

This photos shows the mountain again with snow still on its peak. Medano Creek flows from the mountains and through the edge of the sand dunes. The water flows quite fast, but is very safe for tourists because it is always very shallow, and even little kids can play in the water if supervised. The water is always freezing cold though.

Another photo that shows how nice the sand looks when the sun is shining.

This is a map that shows the location of Boulder and the place (Alamosa) which is close to the sand dunes.