Sands of Time: Doing the Dunes

It's not Tatooine, but walking into Great Sand Dunes National Park in the San Luis Valley sort of feels like walking into another world. Perhaps its because the park, about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Durango, was the setting for the first “Star Wars” movie (extra points if you knew that Tatooine was Luke Sky-walker’s home planet.) This giant sand box covers 30 square miles and provides sandy peaks towering over 750 feet for exploration or getting your summer slide on. The dunes, which have built up over thousands of years, are a result of wind and water patterns that deposit sand at the base of the Sangre De Cristo range. So even deep in the Colorado mountains, we too, can feel like we’re on another planet. Just look out for the Jawas. 


Dudes at the dunes.

Earning turns.
Medano Creek provides a place to cool your feet after walking on 150-degree sand.
Remember your rain jacket (and whereabouts) when exploring the dunes, which stretch for miles.
Rather than trashing your boards, the park now rents them.