Hi I’m Ivanna.

 I’m here to encourage you by sharing personal experiences, practical advice, and what I’ve learned on my journey to mental, physical and spiritual wellness. 

I hope you find something encouraging here today. Thanks for stopping by!

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Visit

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Visit

Great Sand Dunes

I feel like this summer flew by. I can’t believe it is already almost Fall and the kids are already back in school. I guess time does seem to pass faster when you get older.

This summer (and summers going forward) we wanted to make it a point to do some memorable things with our kids as a family. They are getting older and we want them to have fond memories of things we did together as a family while they lived at home.

I remember the activities that I did with my family growing up. I remember the things we did more than I can remember the things that I had or didn’t have. Because of this, I believe that time is truly one of the best things you can spend on a child.

This summer we took two local road trips. One to the Royal Gorge and one to The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve. These are both amazing places to see if you ever get a chance.

Road trips are a great family-friendly way to spend time together and bond with the kids. Here is a wonderful opportunity to show the kids all the exciting things along the way, have sing-a-longs that make the time go faster and play interactive games. If your trip is in the spring, this will be a great way to point out various fruit trees in blossom as well as wildflowers. - minitime.com

Today in the second edition of It's Worth Trying, I wanted to share our adventure to The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve

I was truly in awe of the Great Sand Dunes. It was literally like seeing desert sand and a beach in the middle of the mountains. I sent a video to my sister while we were there and she said: “When did you go to Dubai ?!” Ha!

Great Sand Dunes.jpg
Great Sand Dunes 4
Great Sand Dunes 5

The sand felt just like beach sand also. We started to walk barefoot until we realized it was very hot. It is recommended that you plan your trip to the dunes for early morning or evening during summer to avoid a 150 degree F sand surface or thunderstorms. In spring and fall, sand temperatures are usually moderate throughout the day, but spring afternoons can be very windy.

Luckily we were mostly prepared for the conditions because we did our research beforehand. We rented sand boards from a little shop outside of the park for about $40. You could bring your own also of course. However, the park recommends the following when it comes to the boards you use:

  • Yes: Sandboards and sand sleds are specifically made for sand, featuring a special design with the extra slick base material and special wax; these work best for sliding in most conditions.

  • No: Snow sleds, snowboards and skis only slide on very wet sand after rain or snow. The sand surface is usually dry.

  • No: Cardboard, saucers, and soft plastic items don't slide on sand; they will dig into or drag on the sand.

  • No: Rectangles of rigid, ultra-slick plastic or masonite might slide, but are not safe: there is no way to control or steer them, and their angled edges could cause injuries.

Once we crossed the flat sand and got over to the dunes we sand-boarded down the sandy mounds. It was fun but the walk back up was a killer. my legs were on fire. I only did it a couple of times but the kids and my husband kept going.

Great Sand Dunes 6.

After that, we cooled down in the Medano Creek area. It is a popular seasonal stream that runs right through the dunes. It was starting to dry up when we were there but we still were able to enjoy some water play. In an average year, Medano Creek dries up at the Dunes Parking Area in early July.

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Great Sand Dunes 8

The Sand Dunes are only about 4 hours from Denver and makes a great day trip. We could have done an out and back, but we decided to stay overnight in Alamosa, CO the town closest to the Sand Dunes.


If you live in Colorado or are visiting the area, The Great Sand Dunes is a place worth visiting.

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