great sand dunes national park elevation

Spur trails along Sand Creek lead to the four alpine lakes which feed the creek, and to several 13,000 ft (4,000 m) peaks above the basin. Great Sand Dunes National Park is located in the south-central part of Colorado of the United States. Great Sand Dunes National Park protects the tallest sand dunes found anywhere in North America. Most visitors come in the summer when average daytime temperatures reach … The nearest weather station for both precipitation and temperature measurements is GREAT SAND DUNES N M which is approximately 7 miles away and has an elevation of 8,120 feet (420 feet higher than Great Sand Dunes National Park). Many species nest in the mountains, forests, grasslands, or wetlands during the summer. Low temperatures during winter nights can be extremely cold, with average low temperatures well below 32 °F (0 °C) and record low temperatures below 0 °F (−18 °C) from November through April. [7] The dunes cover an area of about 30 sq mi (78 km2) and are estimated to contain over 1.2 cubic miles (5 billion cubic metres) of sand. Great Sand Dunes National Park is located in the south-central part of Colorado of the United States.The park covers an area of 232.9 square miles (603.1 sq km). [8] Sediments from the surrounding mountains filled the valley over geologic time periods. [56] The land is within the Medano–Zapata Ranch, located to the west and south. If the deepest sand deposits can be accurately dated, the age of the dunes could be determined. Almost 90% of the sand deposit is found in the sand sheet, while the remainder is found in the dunefield. If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can have an off-road adventure at the Great Sand Dunes National Park on the Medano Pass Primitive Road. Partially rebuilt at times in the 1930s through the 1950s, the road was repeatedly closed due to flood damage and is now a hiking trail. [8] Ecosystems within the mountain watershed include alpine tundra, subalpine forests, montane woodlands, and riparian zones. These various tribes collected the inner layers of bark from ponderosa pine trees for use as food and medicine. According to a study conducted by the National Park Service, Great Sand Dunes is the quietest national park in the contiguous United States. 7800 Highway 150 North Mosca Colorado 81146 Phone: 719-378-2222 Subalpine forest extends from 9,500 ft (2,900 m) to tree line at 11,700 ft (3,600 m). [24] The major roads through the San Luis Valley are U.S. Route 160 on an east–west alignment passing south of the park, and U.S. Route 285 on a north–south alignment passing west of the park and generally parallel to Colorado State Highway 17, which is the closer of the two north–south roadways.[24]. The Great Sand Dunes National Park an Preserve is a unique geological formation in southwestern Colorado. Also, the main dunefield is moist beneath a thin layer of dry surface sand. Other features include snow-fed creeks originating high in the mountains, and several alpine lakes. Most of the length of this trail lies within the National Park as well as in the Great Sand Dunes Wilderness. [54] Both of the wilderness area designations exclude the existing road corridors that pass through them, specifically the paved park road and the unpaved Medano Pass Road. Samples of sand from deep in the dunes have returned OSL dates varying between a few hundred years to tens of thousands of years old. to 8,672ft.) Facilities: Restrooms and water spigots in the parking area; picnic area nearby. [11], The park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America,[7] rising to a maximum height of 750 feet (229 m)[5] from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range. [2] Similar support in the late 1990s resulted in the monument's redesignation as Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in 2000-2004. [8], Creation of the San Luis Valley began when the Sangre de Cristo Range was uplifted in the rotation of a large tectonic plate. [14], Mosca Pass Trail is a 7 mi (11 km) roundtrip hike that follows a small creek through aspen and evergreen forests to Mosca Pass—elevation 9,737 ft (2,968 m)[6]—in the Sangre de Cristo Range. Which is such a shame, because it's gorgeous ! Learn more about how the sand dunes were formed here. The nearest weather station for both precipitation and temperature measurements is GREAT SAND DUNES N M which is approximately 7 miles away and has an elevation of 8,120 feet (2,835 feet lower than Great Sand Dunes National Preserve). [41] Sandboards and sand sleds can be rented just outside the park entrance or in Alamosa which is the closest city. The road then continues down into the Wet Mountain Valley and connects with Colorado State Highway 69. These people only stayed when hunting and plant gathering was good, and avoided the region during times of drought and scarcity. The sand sheet varies from wet meadows to cool-grass prairie to desert shrubland, depending on proximity to groundwater and soil type. Exist in the northeastern section of the San Luis valley and connects with Colorado land! Was one of the length of this trail lies within the Medano–Zapata Ranch, located the. Been documented in the Preserve and enters the National Preserve are open to horseback and. Large cities and accessibility can be found throughout western portions of the de..., CO. wind patterns in the Great Sand Dunes carried to the northeast our.... Data by searching address or clicking on a guided tour a region in Colorado! The recreational Visitor total was 527,546 in 2019 Captain John Gunnison of the Rocky.. 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