The last time we stopped at the Great Sand Dunes National Park was quick and amazing. We left the kids begging for more… the sun was shining, the sandy shallow creek was filled with people, buckets, critters, and more, and all we wanted to do was be there. However, we had been on our way to Santa Fe with no time to relax, so off we went.
We promised the kids we would be back, and this was our big opportunity. Due to our adjusted itinerary, we would now only have one night here, which ended up being fine. It’s amazing how different a place can feel with different circumstances. The creek had dried up with the drought, do there would be no playing in the water, and the wind was howling. We spent awhile in the visitor center earning junior ranger badges before heading off into the dunes.
The crew wasn’t exactly pleased about getting pelted by sand as we began climbing the dunes, but suddenly, we ran into the Smith family! What are the chances?! Well, we knew we would be meeting up with them in a couple days at Snow Mountain a couple hours from here, but we hadn’t realized our itineraries aligned prior. Suddenly, the kids were happy again, and the boys took off on a run with Devin through the dunes, while we caught up with the rest of the crew.
We ended up not taking the big hike we had planned, but the kids had more fun jumping off the dunes anyway. Who do you think won the big air contest?
By the time we left, the sun was setting, and the wind was picking up even more. Us adults had sunglasses to block the sand, but the poor kids had to cover their eyes just to walk across the dunes. Next time, we sure hope we don’t get that wind again!
We spent the night at the Sand Dunes Recreation Springs where we were able to enjoy the hot springs for a quick dip. A thunderstorm rolled in quickly, and we were able to get a refund on our hot springs visit thankfully! One more place to revisit for more time on another trip! (travel dates 7/13-7/14/18)