"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Friday, May 1, 2015

Playing at the Great Sand Dunes National Park

What? A totally dog-friendly National Park? Amazing!

Well, to be completely honest, dogs must be on a leash at all times. So you didn't see these pictures of Honey running around with a loose leash, did you? All the pictures you saw looked like this one:

...with Honey pulling wildly on the leash. OK?

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is located at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, on the edge the San Luis Valley, in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.  The park protects the tallest sand dunes (750 feet) in North America, which cover an area of 19,000 acres. It's a kind of remote park, not close to a lot else of interest, so it's not too heavily visited.  

The sand dunes themselves are pretty darn cool, but the stream running at their base is probably the coolest thing about the whole park.  The Medona River is seasonal, created by snowmelt from the mountains and running only in the Spring and early Summer.  It is wide and shallow, and runs between the parking lot and the dunes, requiring wading for all who want to walk up the dunes. Fun! 

The water is fresh, perfectly clear, and surprisingly warm. I guess it has a long way to run in the sun before it gets here.

Honey has not taken to the water yet, but luckily she has taken to sticks. It only took one to get her running in and out of the water like a Retriever. 

It's the kind of place you could spend hours playing, and many families (some with dogs) were. The weather was about 70 degrees and sunny - a perfect day - and all three of us were happy to play in the water and the sand until we got too hungry. There's a nice picnic ground right next to the parking lot. Honey didn't really want to leave. 

Since we're in the area for the week, staying at the Sand Dunes Swimming Pool and RV Park (more about that later), about 30 miles away, we plan to come back again, maybe at sunset for some more play and pictures. 


  1. We stayed at Sand Dunes Pool RV and hiked the dunes too! Enjoy!


    1. The "Greenhouse" is open now at the Sand Dunes Swimming Pool and RV Park. It is adults only, and has four hot tubs and a sauna. It's a very large space. They serve drinks and have cafe tables, grass and hot house plants. Nice and humid compared to this dry part of the country.

  2. Well, I dont see how anyone could complain, in that first and last picture anyway, your dog is definitely

    "on a leash". :-D

  3. Honey sure has grown. The Great Sand Dunes is a unique stop and prettiest when there's still snow on the mountains. I'm glad Honey is enjoying her visit.

    1. Yes, there's still plenty of snow up there and still snowing a little most days at high elevations. We're all loving it.


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