One of the most unique places in Colorado are the Great Sand Dunes. It is surprising to see this desert looking part of Colorado when you are used to the snow capped mountains. The Great Sand Dunes National Park has sand surfing, hiking, river swimming, and more! Here are 5 tips I have learned from my traveling:
1. DO NOT GO ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! It is the busiest day of the year (yes this is the day I went) and there are a lot of crowds. I waited in a line of cars for over an hour just to enter the park. I also would recommend going earlier in the day so you have more time on the dunes and to avoid unnecessary crowds.
2. It is about $20 to enter the park with one car. If you are going to be seeing a lot of National Parks while in Colorado I would recommend getting a pass so you can save money.
3. If you are going April – early June I would recommend wearing sandals and taking them off to hike the dunes. I loved sinking my toes into the sand and not worrying about sand in my shoes. If you are going late June – September I would recommend wearing closed toed shoes because the sand becomes very hot and will burn your feet.
4. Wear airy pants and/or shirt. When the wind picks up it pushes the sand against your skin and it stings quit a bit. I’d also recommend wearing sunglasses to block the sand from getting in your eyes. I forgot my sunglasses and had a lot of discomfort with my contacts in.
5. Push yourself to the top! The dunes can be discouraging with how massive they are and the difficulty you feel hiking in sand, but don’t give up. Reaching the top gives you amazing views of the mountains and the surrounding area. Go slow, drink water, and you will make it!
If you love the dunes and want to experience it even more you can camp here as well. I have not yet done it but it’s on my list of adventures for next summer!