Dunes and Canyons

Travelling across Colorado, we ended up in the San Luis Valley. The valley is the remnant of an ancient lake: flat, broad and dry, ringed with mountains. It’s deceptively large too. You can see across the valley, so when driving through it seems like you’d be across in no time, rather than the hours that it actually takes.

The major attraction for most is the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The six and seven hundred foot dunes are a result of sand from the valley, prevailing winds, and the Sangre de Cristo mountains to the east.

We camped in the park for a few days, touring south and west to the Alamosa Wildlife Refuges for a day without seeing anything notable. I suspect that October is not the month to look for wildlife in this area.

Our plan was to head for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, but instead we headed south to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The monument captures the area around a deep canyon cut by the Rio Grande as it heads south.

The campsites are on or near the rim the canyon, and the views are spectacular.






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