Great Sand Dunes National Park

Hiking Up And Running Down Steep Hills At The Sand Dunes!

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March 2006 - Hiking up and down the sand dunes is definitely part of the experience of visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park. As one climbs upward on steep dunes, the key strategy that I've found is finding sand that is relatively compacted and firm, as opposed to totally mushy sand where your foot sinks a few inches down.

As my friend Tanya and I were returning to the visitor area, we came across this really steep dune! I snapped many photos to document our wild hike down.

Although it may seem scary, it's quite difficult to hurt yourself running down them! If these dunes were the same size and shape as hard mountains, it would be a different story, but once your foot touches the dunes, they typically sink ankle deep in the sand!
Notice how Tanya's ankles are deep in the dunes! :)
I stood near the top of the dune and photographed Tanya's adventure down the dunes.
This photo will give you a good perspective of how tall this particular dune was, as Tanya looked up toward me.

-Photos by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. His web site is


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