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Did You Know? There's a Sahara-like Desert South of Denver

Where: Great Sand Dunes National Park [map], Mosca , Colorado, United States
June 9, 2014 at 1:16 PM | by | ()

Great Sand Dunes National Park at sunset

With the calendar now on June and nighttime temperatures becoming more consistent, camping season is upon us across most of the country. Things are moving a bit slower in Colorado, though, as the snow-filled winter has translated into a wet, spring runoff that has left campsites and surrounding trails soggy.

But that doesn't mean we can't have a good adventure while we wait for things to dry out. In this travel snapshot, we feature Great Sand Dunes National Park, located four hours south of Denver. When things have the potential to be wet and sloppy during the spring or late fall, seek refuge amongst the gigantic sand dunes, where it is sure to be warm and dry.

Whether you decide to hike in and backpack or camp at the base and go for a day hike, you will be treated to an expansive 19,000 acres of rolling sand dunes, seemingly out of place amongst the three 14,000-foot mountain peaks that surround it. A hike in the dunes is like being transported to the Sahara, extremely disorienting and nothing but sand in every direction. As the day goes on, the light from the sun changes the appearance of the dunes, creating shadows and changing its color.

If you've been there done that as far as camping in the mountains goes, this is an awesome alternative adventure that showcases some diverse "I never knew that was there" Rocky Mountain scenery:

Do you see our tent?

[Photos: Will McGough]

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