Doug & Barbara Peterson

Doug & Barbara Peterson
Barbara & I at a scenic overlook on the skyline drive in the Rocky Mountain National Park, 8-13-2016

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summer Trip 2018, Great Sand Dunes National Park




While at Great Sand Dunes we stayed at The Pinon Flats Campground located near the visitors center. There are three loops at Pinon Flats, Loop 1 & 2 are for rv's, trailers & tents and Loop 3 is for tents only. Some of the sites are small so it is important to get the dimensions of your site when you reserve. The park is full most of the summer so it is important to make reservations at least 6 months in advance. The campground has good water, many shaded sites, restrooms without showers and no electric. The days can be and were warm for us however the nights are cool making for good sleeping weather. The view from our campsite was great with the dunes towering above the sky line.


Our campsite with the brown bear box which we put our grill in at night
Sunset over the dunes as seen from our campsite
Barbara and I toasting each other celebrating our 25 anniversary, June 26th 



The Visitors Center is a great place to start your visit with a 20 minute film of the geological history park that makes this place so unique. There is an area down from the visitors center here you park your car and walk out to the dunes. You can also access the dunes from the campground. Many visitors walk the dunes however in the summer it is always advised to start early in the morning or later at night before the afternoon heat sets in. We marveled at shear size of the dunes that rise off the high desert floor ot over 800 feet tall. Children with there parents were using ski boards to slide down the side of the bigger dunes.








We took a 2 mile hike the second day we were there on the Dunes Overlook trail that begins at the Pinon Flats campground. The trail elevates about 450 feet above the surrounding area that gives you a great view of the entire sand dune field with the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background.


Dunes River Trail 

Viewa of the entire dunes field from the top of Dunes River Trail
The western end of the dune field with the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background




In the afternoon we took a drive on the Medano Pass Primitive Road to the point of no return to take in the views. At the point of no return only specially equiped 4WD vehicles are allowed and the drivers have to deflate there tires to 20 lbs as to not get stuck in the soft sand of the dunes in places. We did not attempt to go beyond the point of no return. 


View of the dunes at the point of no return
We never went pass the point of no return. Only for high clearance 4WD
Great Sand Dunes is a great place to visit with massive sand dunes, great trails and mountain scenery to explore.








Great Sand Dunes National Park






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