Known across America as one of the most beautiful states, Colorado provides a plethora of attractions. From mountains to rivers to forests, Colorado has it all. The Great Sand Dunes National Part and Preserve confirms the state’s wilderness versatility, as the stretching expanses of sand remind one of open land in Arizona or deserts in Africa — keeping the right perspective, though, are the tall mountains that tower up in the background. One can stand on the dunes and look up at those mountains and feel that one is in a very unique and wonderful place. The Great Sand Dunes National Park offers many activities for travelers, much to see and explore, and an experience that will not soon be forgotten.
For a way of seeing the park that is truly in keeping with the heritage and spirit of Colorado, one can travel over most of the Park and Reserve on horseback. Some of the areas are closed to horses, to keep them open for visitors on foot, and one should check the maps available at the park before riding out to explore. This will not inhibit much, however, as the majority of the park is indeed open. There are guided tours for those who want to rent horses or who do not trust themselves to find their way around on their own. One can book these tours if staying at the Zapata Ranch, which is located conveniently right next to the park. There is parking near the start of the Medano Pass Primitive Road, which can be easily found. If it is full, there is a nearby parking lot that is also open for the use of trailers, in the shape of an amphitheater. Overall, this is one of the most interesting ways to experience any national park, and especially one in Colorado.
There are also wetlands in the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and these are ideal for bird watching. If one has come from another part of the world or just another state, Colorado has many interesting and beautiful birds. The Great Sand Dunes National Park is an excellent place to find them, for a number of reasons. First, it is a very different type of landscape, with dunes and forests and wetlands all in one place. This means that a very diverse population of birds can survive in the park, and even flourish. Second, the dunes provide long open areas not obscured by trees and mountains. The wetlands naturally have more vegetation, but are still great for spotting and looking at many kinds of birds.
For families and children, the Great Sand Dunes National Park is the ultimate trip to the beach. Children can play in the water, taking floats and tubes out into the current to experience that sort of rush. They can play along the shoreline or anywhere up the dunes, building sand castles and digging trenches. They have large open areas to run and play, setting up games of tag or football. The dunes themselves have an advantage over the normal beach, as children can slide or jump down them, something that is extremely fun that they cannot experience elsewhere.
For eating, there are many places to have picnics and barbecues. These are some of the areas closed to horses, to keep the park separated into a family atmosphere for those wanting to relax, and an adventurous atmosphere for those wanting to explore. One can bring a grill and cook hot dogs and hamburgers or spread out a towel and have sandwiches and watermelon; depending on the season and one’s preferences, the park is a perfect place for either, with lots of space dedicated to relaxing and eating.
Overall, visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is an experience that all can enjoy. With so much to see and do, the park will leave no one wanting more, and will give everyone a time that they will remember forever.