Great Sand Dunes


As the sun drops behind the San Juan Mountains, 75 miles across the San Luis Valley, the last direct light on North America‘s tallest and highest dunes causes the volcanic sand to glow.

This Colorado dune field evolved out of the last major volcanic activity in the San Juan Mountains, 30 million years ago. The Rio Grande carried volcanic ash eastward, while prevailing southwesterly winds plus the snowmelt from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains have maintained its unique balance.

My own visual interpretation of the events that have created this particular evolution in the passage of time is not unlike The Jicarilla Apaches’ “it goes up and down” and the Utes’ “the land that moves back and forth.”

Great Sand Dunes<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2007 Sand Castle<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2007 Light Play<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2007 Dunes Against Sangres<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2007 Sangre de Christo Wind Scoop<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2007 San Juans across San Luis Valley<br>Great Sand Dunes - 2007