I had the opportunity to spend a few days in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This summers adventures are off to a great start. We spent three days camping outside the park but spent most of our time in the park as well has hiking to Zapata Falls just south of the park. Hiking to the top of one of the dunes was our first adventure. We started early in the morning because we wanted to see the strawberry moon set over Medano Creek, see the sunrise and get on the dunes before it got to hot. The dune sands heat up fast in the summer so it was time to get going early and was it well worth getting up at 4:30 to start our day.
I appreciate the folks who climb to the highest dunes. Hiking in the sand is a lot of work so we got in our exercise for the morning. The views were nice once you make it up to at least to the top of a dune - not the highest but up above Medano creek and the valley below.
We camped at the Oasis resort outside of the park since all the camping in the park is full most of the summer. First come first serve sites are taken up quickly and the rest are by reservation and those fill up months in advance. We found the oasis camping to be the best - what a wonderful site and the folks who run the resort were just the best - kudos.
The next day to avoid the heat and the number of folks visiting the park - we headed up to Zapata Falls. It is a short hike but worth the effort. The drive up to the trailhead was very bumpy so it is slow but sure. Once to the creek that comes out of the falls we slowly moved through the rushing water to try to get a view of the fall. I did not quite get around the corner to see the fall because the water was running high and fast so I just managed to get to an area to see the creek and the mist the fall created but that was worth the effort. From up at the falls area there are panoramic views of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and the dunes. Spectacular..
So if you get a chance to head to Southern Colorado stop in at this magnificent National Park. Lots to see and do..