Where Mountains and Sand Dunes Collide — Love and Dirt

Driving into Great Sands Dunes National Park, it’s hard to believe the beauty of what you are seeing as you get closer and closer to the landscape. Miles of sand dunes; the tallest in North America, with a sweeping backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It doesn’t get more picturesque than this folks. This spectacular area has it all…wetlands, forests, tundra, mountain views, trails, and even sand sledding! I highly recommend adding this stop to your travel itinerary if you are in Colorado! Great Sand Dunes is located about 4 hours south of Denver, or 3 hours south of Colorado Springs.

Photo Credit: Jill Gietzen

Medano Creek

This unique water playground makes its appearance on average from April to June, with peak flow being in May, but it depends on precipitation and snow melt for that year. We had an absolute BLAST playing in the water here and taking in the background views. Exploring here was probably the highlight of the trip for the kids, despite the mosquitoes (see safety section at end of post).

Hiking Recommendations

High Dune Trail: This trail is around 2.5 miles, and if you make it to the top, it is WELL worth the hike. You will have a 360 degree view of the dunes along with the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. It is absolutely breathtaking! Hiking to the top is a little over a mile, but is a bit arduous due to the fact that you will be hiking in sand, at elevation. This hike starts behind the visitor center at an elevation of over 8,000 feet, and climbs almost 700 feet to the top. Take it slow, and bring plenty of water. Hiking down is much easier! You can have a bit of fun with it! If you rented a sandboard or sled, you can slide down, or you can roll down it! Or run it! Whichever you choose, your descent will be MUCH easier than the hike up! I suggest beginning this hike earlier in the morning, especially if you are hiking in the summer, because the sand won’t be nearly as hot. Also, you will have a better shot at taking some awesome and dramatic shots of the dunes due to the position of the sun in the morning. After the hike, if you visit between April and June, you can cool off in Medano Creek!

 via Where Mountains and Sand Dunes Collide — Love and Dirt

 

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Nature’s Silent Message – Just released by Scott Stillman

Chandrtal Lake Himachal Pradesh

Chandrataal lake , a high altitude lake, deep in Himachal Pradesh is one such beautiful lakes in the mountains. The lake gets its name from its moon like shape. lake situated at approximately 13500ft above sea level and surrounded by dozens of snowcapped peaks is stunning round the year. The lake has many legends associated with it and one can feel and experience each of them as you approach the lake either from the Rohtang pass or kunzum pass. […]

 

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The place really justifies the feel of “In the middle of nowhere’. Far from the hassle bustle of the city and good for hiking.. Chandra Tal has a jeep track, which is an adventure in itself and can give the uninitiated a good first taste of what it feels like to be in the upper Himalayas. For trekkers, a 3 hour trek from Kunzum pass right to Chandra Tal is exciting and beautiful and is recommended for naturel lovers.

The lake can be visited from Manali or via Shimla ( both ways one can enter Spiti Valley) in summers.

 

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via Chandrtal Lake Himachal Pradesh — TrAvEl VlOgINg