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View Full Version : Colorado Escapes - Great Sand Dunes National Park



Mechengineer2
05-01-2012, 01:11 AM
After a very rough and stressful couple of weeks at work, I was in need of a weekend getaway. So my wife and I decided to grab the Jeep and head south from Denver to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. The Medano Pass trail near the sand dunes was one of the first 4x4 trails that I drove after moving to Colorado. It's a special place for me with lots of memories. While we did drive Medano Pass ... we couldn't get all the way through as the trail was still impassable and not yet open for the season. Creek crossings were deep but actually below average. Our real goal for the trip though ... make it to the top of the sand dunes to take in the famous views. If you've ever hiked up a truly steep sand slope, you know it isn't easy. Each step you take, you sink in with gravity pulling you right back down. It's a battle for sure. Definitely a great way to get the blood flowing and to clear out those arteries! The view from the top is rare as there are not many places in the world where you can see snow capped mountains and cascading sand dunes at the same time. If you are in Colorado, visit the dunes and make this hike. It's worth it!

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Mechengineer2
05-01-2012, 01:39 AM
Here's a raw clip from one of the creek crossings on Medano Pass. Normal snow pack runoff would typically force the water line quite a bit higher. It's been a very dry season out here.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDmrSSc6ki8&hd=1

JKRay
05-01-2012, 03:18 AM
That is some beutiful senery! Looks like an awesome trip to let everything go. Thanks for sharing. :thumb:

wayoflife
05-01-2012, 03:31 AM
wow, them are some big sand dunes. looks like fun. :cool:

GCM 2
05-01-2012, 09:41 PM
Awesome photos of the dunes :thumb:

Hightower
05-01-2012, 09:51 PM
very cool great pic's.

MTG
05-01-2012, 09:55 PM
Very nice indeed! I love b&w photos.

rdubb1031
05-02-2012, 01:34 AM
I grew up going to the dunes with my parents. In high school my buddy would take his old cj topless/doorless and we'd nail those water crossings. Now I have a two year old of my own and can't wait to take the Jeep over Medano with him and the wife. Great pics, I'm stoked for camping season now....

Trail Bud
05-02-2012, 02:36 PM
I had no idea you had sands dunes that size.
Very cool.
Nice pics too.

Mechengineer2
05-02-2012, 06:34 PM
Nice pics Eric! That's for sharing!! Did you use a special software for the pics? ;)

The dunes do seem artificial in front of the snow capped mountains. We blinked a few times the first time we drove up to the park. Truly incredible scenery.


wow, them are some big sand dunes. looks like fun. :cool:

When you are fighting your way to the top of these dunes, you realize just how big they truly are. Add in the altitude (those are 13,000 - 14,000 ft peaks in the background) ... and catching your breath becomes a real struggle. The tallest dune is 750 ft above the surrounding terrain I believe. But the wind constantly shifts and molds these dunes. Always changing. Foot prints can disappear in minutes. Wear shorts and be ready to have your legs sand blasted.


That is some beutiful senery! Looks like an awesome trip to let everything go. Thanks for sharing. :thumb:


Awesome photos of the dunes :thumb:


very cool great pic's.


Very nice indeed! I love b&w photos.

Thanks for the comments! This area is one of Colorado's great treasures.


I grew up going to the dunes with my parents. In high school my buddy would take his old cj topless/doorless and we'd nail those water crossings. Now I have a two year old of my own and can't wait to take the Jeep over Medano with him and the wife. Great pics, I'm stoked for camping season now....

Love Medano Pass! All of the deep water crossings are great. Also a fun trail to drive in the snow toward the end of the season. Started driving Medano in an old R/T Durango ... then a lifted WK Grand Cherokee w/ Hemi (had soooooo much fun with that in the sand) ... now a built JK Wrangler (missing the Hemi :drool:). Lots of memories and indeed a great place to camp! In fact there were quite a few people camping last weekend.


I had no idea you had sands dunes that size.
Very cool.
Nice pics too.

If you haven't seen Mt. Blanca or the Great Sand Dunes, put it on your bucket list. If you, Eddie, and Cindy make it back to Colorado, happy to show you guys some of the lesser known but incredibly scenic spots. :thumb:

ZERO LIMITZ
05-03-2012, 03:02 AM
Great pictures!!! I'm working in Western Kansas and headed to the Royal Gorge this weekend..... Looking forward to seeing a lot of Colorado while being so close.....

BigJeschke
05-07-2012, 12:53 AM
Awesome pics! The dunes is in my list of camping spots for this year.:yup: