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.