Above is this weeks free desktop. Back this week to a place featured here a few months back, Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in southern Colorado. This park is located about 30 miles northeast of Alamosa, CO and contains North America's tallest dunes which rise over 700 feet. Pressed against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, these dunes take on almost a surreal look and climbing them is a blast while also being a bit of task. Great Sand Dunes is one of those super "all access" parks as the dune field is open for total exploration so you can do a little or as much as you feel comfortable with. There is over 30 square miles of 70 story sand to explore so be prepared for a real experience here. I'll say that the view from the top of the dunes definitely makes the high elevation the hike (the valley is in the 7500' range, so the dune peaks are above 8000') worthwhile. This weeks shot is from just barely into the dune field, standing on a 550-575 ft dune (just a guess) looking north. The dunes in the shot are not the tallest ones here, the big dunes are about a 1/4 mile west of us, . We did end our hike here and sacked the plan to watch the sunset from those tall dunes to our west as the weather was threatening (I think you can tell in the photo). Great Sand Dunes is really interesting park with many hiking opportunities, both in the dunes and Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This lesser known, kind of "out of the way" park is truly worth your time.
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