We couldn’t check-in to our campground until noon and we are only 31 miles away, so we took our time to get going. We pulled out of the campground around 11:00 to drive the 31 miles to Great Sand Dune Oasis RV Park. We took Highway 160 east toward the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
It was a hazy day from those burning wildfires in CA, AZ, UT, and CO, but it was a pleasant 75 degrees. We turned onto Highway 150 to the campground.
The campground sits on a bluff with a fantastic view of Great Sand Dunes NP. Great Sand Dunes NP has North America’s tallest sand dunes. The Medano and Sand Creeks, which flow along the base of the dunes, recycle the sand to create the dunes. The prevailing winds out of the southwest blow the sand, which settles at the base of the mountains. The dunes are probably less than 440,000 years old.
We got our first glimpse of the dunes at the base of the mountains off in the distance.
The road paralleled the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
We passed the road to Zapatta Falls and we talked about going there tomorrow.
The road brought us closer and closer to the dunes.
We pulled in at the Great Sand Dunes Oasis RV Park and Bob had to register us in the store.
The line was long for renting a sand sled to use on the dunes. Here is what the sleds look like.
We were assigned site #1 on the end of the row which gave us an awesome view of the dunes sitting against the mountains.
We got all set up and sat in the shade of the awning watching how the clouds made shadow patterns on the dunes.
It was beautiful to watch.
There was a nice breeze blowing to keep the heat at bay. We decided to take a drive into the park to check out the dunes up close.
On our way to the dunes, we spotted 3 deer along the roadside.
We parked in the lot and walked up closer to the dunes.
There were lots of people enjoying the dunes–climbing and sledding on the sand.
We looked through the binoculars to see how fast people were sledding down the sand. It didn’t seem to be a fast ride, but there were a lot of people doing it. We left there and drove through the campground to check it out. There were mostly tents with a few small RV’s mixed in, but nothing over 30 ft.
On our way back to our campground, we spotted 3 more mule deer with nice sized racks covered in velvet, grazing along the road.
We arrived back in the campground around 2:30 and enjoyed cocktails in the shade with a view of the dunes. We have the best view of the dunes in the campground.
The smokey haze continued to obscure the view of the mountains in the distance. We enjoyed the afternoon outside. Auggie and I checked out this mini log cabin on the playground. He became the honorary sheriff–Buzz Saw Davis.
The afternoon clouds moved in and we could see the rain, but it didn’t seem to hit the ground.
We cooked burgers on the grill and hoped that the skies would clear for a view of the stars. We took our walk around the campground and on the road above the campground where the cabins are located. We got a view of the campground below and what little sunset there was.
The skies were cloudy at sunset and not very clear to view any stars tonight. We waited for it to get really dark and then the stars appeared. Tomorrow we’ll go into the park and climb the dunes.