Sunrise at the Sand Dunes National Park outside Alamosa, CO, was incredibly
beautiful. The numerous times that I have visited the park, there have been
thousands of tourists climbing the dunes and hiking the trails. By traveling there
in late October and arriving at 6:30 in the morning, we found ourselves alone to
enjoy the expansive hills and valleys of white sand.
Park is Open Year-Round 24 hours a Day
The brisk cold and darkness didn’t deter us as we entered the Great Sand Dunes National Park. In fact, we were so early, no one was manning the entrance gate to the park. There was a simple sign that asked that we pay as we left. I didn’t realize the park is open 24 hours a day although there isn’t much to see in complete darkness. I imagine the night skies are magnificent and there is a campground within the park.
As we passed the well-designed Visitor’s Center heading to the closest parking lot where we could access the dunes, a family of deer ran across the road. We parked the car, gathered our cameras, tripods and other paraphanalia and trekked out on the sand. The light was very dim but we could still see so many tracks in the sand. I was disappointed at first thinking that people had been traipsing all over the dunes and that it would be difficult to get some good photographs….but upon closer look, the tracks were all animal…the four legged kind.
A Photographer’s Dream
As the light from the sun peaked over the mountains, the landscape changed by the seconds. This was a photographer’s dream – beautiful colors, shadows and shapes and no one else around as I composed by shot. A truly beautiful experience.