Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

The highest sand dunes in the U.S. are in a remote valley in southern Colorado. Wind blows sand across the valley. As the wind rises through a gap in the mountains, it slows down and drops its sand. A small stream catches sand that blows close to the mountains and carries it back into the valley to be re-deposited. The dunes are up to 700 feet high. This is perhaps the only wilderness area you can cross in your bare feet.

The picture viewpoint is 37o 50' 24" N, 105o 31' 06" W.

Original Scene

(author's image)

Possible Coloring

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Created 25 November 2005, Last Update 15 January 2020