Great Sand Dunes National Park - Part 1

Pinyon Flats CG,Great Sand Dunes NP, Colorado
August 15-16, 2,894 miles and 29 days into the trip.

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The city of Colorado Springs is 6,008 feet above sea level and it took a while to get use to hiking at that level. Leaving there and heading for Great Sand Dunes National Park was interesting. We left the Interstate system behind and traveled west on either US or State highways. We crossed over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at La Veta Pass which is 9,413 feet. That was the highest we climbed in the Winnebago motor home. On our Alaskan trip our highest climb was 8,541 feet and that was in Wyoming.

After passing over La Veta we dropped down into the San Luis Valley which averages 7,500 feet above sea level. The National Park visitors center and campground are at 8,210 feet. The sand dunes, which are the tallest in North America rise above that. The dunes cover 30 square miles and the sand continues around the dunes in the valley for another 300 square miles. The valley is bordered in the west by the San Juan mountains. There are peaks in both mountains which exceed 14,000 feet. The US's 3rd largest river, The Rio Grande, starts in this valley. Leaving the valley to the east, west, or north requires traveling over passes of greater than 9 or 10 thousand feet.

The view as you approach the Sand Dunes
with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the back ground.

Our campsite was across from tent sites.

Each site has a lockable bear box for your food.
It was for the tenters and pop-up campers.

Our view of the Sand Dunes.
The trees are blocking our view!

The view from the tent site across the street from us.

Attending a talk at the visitors center.

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