SURFING THE GREAT SAND DUNES
TOPIC: National Park Surfing Adventures
PROJECT: Dune Reconnaissance Complete
Doug, Brian and Keith set out to the southwest from Colorado Springs on a sunny afternoon chasing a story we heard about sand surfing a National Park. Who would have through there would be perfect 300ft sand slopes pouring down into the cool running waters of Medano creek?
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve was established by an act of the United States Congress on September 13, 2004. The dunes were formed from sand and soil deposits of the Rio Grande and its tributaries. Yeah, and there are other dunes in most western states in the US, but none as dramatic and tall, 750 feet!
How they form you ask? Winds picked up sand particles from the lake and river flood plain. As the wind lost power before crossing the Sangre de Cristo mountain Range, the sand was deposited on the east edge of the valley. The wind changes the shape of the dunes daily and this combination of opposing winds, a huge supply of sand from the valley floor, and the sand recycling action of the creeks, are all part of the reason that these are the tallest dunes in North America.
Fun Fact: According to a recent Soundscape Study conducted by the National Park Service, this park is the quietest national park in the 48 contiguous United States.