I took this weekend to venture down to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Southern Colorado. It was a bit cold at a brisk 16°F and the wind was blowing pretty strong. Turns out that walking in a giant kitty litter box during a high wind will pelt your face with sand like a son-of-a-biscuit. I must have inhaled at least a small sand castle’s worth of sand.
High Dune is the second highest dune in the park at 699ft high. The highest, Star Dune, is 755ft. I don’t know the exact mileage to reach Star Dune since there are no trails, but looking at the map it appears to be at least an additional two or three miles back. If it had been a little bit warmer out I probably would have tried hiking to it.
The sand was so fine and the wind was so strong that it actually jammed up my camera’s shutter button. A bunch of sand got blown around the button and it wouldn’t let it release. Took me awhile to get it working again.
Here’s some pictures, but the video has all the highlights.
There’s not much else to do in the park in winter. The campground is closed, some of the roads are closed, and the water isn’t flowing. There are a couple other hikes that can be done, but it was far too cold for me to stick around and do another nine miles of trail. If I had brought my tripod I would have stuck around until nightfall and tried getting some pictures of the stars. It’s supposed to be really dark in that area.