Great Sand Dunes National Park

photographer: Nathan Acks
date: 2018-07-08

A weekend at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Technically a work trip, but I managed to fit in one short hike on the dunes.

High desert scrubland ends abruptly in a field of high sand dunes

Looking north across the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Mount Herard can be seen at far right, and Cleveland Peak in the distance near center.

Looking out across a low, even sand field towards a wall of high dunes

Looking north across the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Mount Herard can be seen at right.

Looking out across a low, even sand field towards a ridge stabilized by clumps of short grass

A panorama from north to east across the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Mount Herard can be seen left of center, with Mount Zwischen visible near center.

Looking out across a low, even sand field towards a wall of high dunes

Looking north across the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are just visible at far right.

Looking out across a low, even sand field towards a wall of high dunes

A panorama from west to north across the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes. Mount Herard can be seen in the background at right. A group of sandboarders can be seen just left of center.

Looking out across a low, even sand field towards a wall of high dunes

Looking west towards the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes. A group of sandboarders can be seen at far-left, while two backpackers approach in the distance at right.

Looking out across a low, even sand field towards distant, juniper-covered mountains

Looking east towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes. Mount Zwischen can be seen in the distance at center-left.

A small plant emerges from the sand

A seedling growing near the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes. Mount Herard can be seen in the distance at left, and Mount Zwischen in the distance at far-right.

Gently rolling high desert scrubland stretches out towards distant, juniper-covered mountains

Looking south towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes.

High desert scrubland ends abruptly in a field of high sand dunes

Looking north across the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Mount Herard can be seen at center, and Cleveland Peak in the distance near center-left.

High desert scrubland ends abruptly in a field of high sand dunes

Looking west towards the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes.

A yellow spider eats a moth on the inside of a tent

A spider eats a moth inside Len Montgomery and my tent.

High desert scrubland ends abruptly in a field of high sand dunes

The eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes at sunrise. Mount Herard can be seen in the background at right; Len Montgomery and Nathan Acks’ shadows are visible at left.

High desert scrubland ends abruptly in a field of high sand dunes

The eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes at sunrise.

Len walks across a sand field towards a distant wall of high dunes

Len Montgomery at the Great Sand Dunes.

Looking out across a low, even sand field towards a wall of high dunes

Looking north across the eastern edge of the Great Sand Dunes. Mount Herard is just visible at far right.

Looking out across a field of rolling sand dunes

Looking north across the Great Sand Dunes towards Mount Herard.

Looking down the central ridge of a sand dune

Looking south across the Great Sand Dunes towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Looking across a field of sand dunes

Looking southwest across the Great Sand Dunes. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are visible at left.

An immense sand dune with the shadows of two people at its base

Len Montgomery and Nathan Acks shadows on the Great Sand Dunes.

A field of rolling sand dunes

Looking west across the Great Sand Dunes.

Looking across a field of sand dunes

Looking south across the Great Sand Dunes towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Len Montgomery can be seen ahead of me on the dune ridge at far left.

A field of rolling sand dunes

Looking north across the Great Sand Dunes.

Looking down the central ridge of a sand dune

A panorama from east to south across the Great Sand Dunes towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Looking down the central ridge of a sand dune

Looking south across the Great Sand Dunes towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Len Montgomery can be seen ahead of me on the dune ridge near the center of the frame.

A field of rolling sand dunes

A panorama from west to north across the Great Sand Dunes. Mount Herard can be seen in the distance at far right.

Looking across a field of sand dunes

Looking southwest across the Great Sand Dunes. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are visible at left.

Len looks back toward the camera from a low, sandy hill

Len Montgomery at the Great Sand Dunes. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains lie in the distance.