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Colorado Culture magazine is an online comprehensive resource for all things Colorado. Full of cultural articles, ideas, and events that are easily accessible and informative, it appeals to culture enthusiasts of all ages and types with a goal to serve Colorado and the people who visit with a fresh look on the vast culture that thrives here.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve: Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve: Colorado

If you’re well rehearsed in the Colorado lifestyle, you know that being outdoors and underneath the sun and stars is one of the most popular things to do, all year round. Colorado offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for one to embark on, and one of the most unique ones is to head down south to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. These sand dunes have formed over thousands of years as sand from streams and lakes on the San Luis Valley floor have been carried by winds, thus resulting in the massive playground of gigantic sand mountains.

From anywhere in the Denver metro location, getting to the sand dunes will take you between 3 and 4 hours depending on your rate of travel. Although it’s a long drive, it’s a beautiful one, with wide open fields, towering mountains, and sunflowers decorating the sides of the streets. Once you arrive at the dunes, you park and can go wherever you please.

The hike to the top is tough, but it’s worth the effort and the view from the top is quite spectacular. Once you reach the highest peak, the views of sand dunes seem to never end. If you stick around until it’s dark and get lucky enough to have a perfectly clear night, the stars will be something like out of your imagination. Getting far away from the light polution of the cities and setting up your camera for a long exposure shot will lead you to a beautiful picture of the milky way and stars. And if you’re extra lucky, maybe you’ll get a shooting star in one of those pictures too!

The sand dunes can offer a great day trip, or can be a great backpacking trip for the more serious adventurer. On the drive home from the sand dunes, it is also recommended to check out Zapata Falls, which is a short and simple hike that lands you at the bottom of a hidden waterfall. It is recommended that water shoes are worn as you are required to walk up a river.

Cover Photo: National Park Service

Sunflower Shot: Eyediola Photography

Dune Photos: Sloan Mclin

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