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Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve,Colorado

Known for huge dunes like the towering Star Dune, and for the seasonal Medano Creek and beach created at the base of the dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve,Colorado
FORDF250HDXLT, Apr 11, 2017

      History & Culture

      Clovis points from the Great Sand Dunes area have been identified by archeologists as spearpoints that were likely used by early mammoth hunters.

      Some of the first people to enter the San Luis Valley and the Great Sand Dunes area were nomadic hunters and gatherers whose connection to the area centered around the herds of mammoths and prehistoric bison that grazed nearby. They were Stone Age people who hunted with large stone spear or dart points now identified as Clovis and Folsom points. Like nearly everyone else until about 400 years ago, they walked into the San Luis Valley. They apparently spent time here when hunting and plant gathering was good, and avoided the region during times of drought and scarcity.

      Over 200 ponderosa pine trees, historically peeled for food or medicine by American Indian tribes, are "living artifacts" around Great Sand Dunes. This is the only grove of trees now on the National Register of Historic Places. A park ranger is taking in the vanilla fragrance of this ponderosa.
      NPS/Patrick Myers

      A Living Connection:
      Modern American Indians

      Although we don’t know the names or languages of those earliest people, modern American Indian tribes were familiar with the area when Spaniards first arrived about 400 years ago. The traditional Ute word for the Great Sand Dunes is Saa waap maa nache, "sand that moves." Jicarilla Apaches settled in northern New Mexico and called the dunes Sei-anyedi, "it goes up and down." Blanca Peak, just southeast of the Dunes, is one of the four sacred mountains of the Navajo, "Sisnaajini". While these various tribes were here at the dunes, they collected the inner layers of bark from ponderosa pine trees, using them as food and medicine. For the people from the Tewa/Tiwa-speaking pueblos along the Rio Grande, it is a different spiritual link. They remember a traditional site of great importance located in the San Luis Valley near the Dunes: the lake through which their people emerged into the present world. "Sip'ophe" ("Sandy Place Lake") is thought to be the spring(s) and/or lake(s) immediately west of the dunefield.

      History & Culture - Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

      Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park located in the San Luis Valley, in the easternmost parts of Alamosa County and Saguache County, Colorado, United States. Originally created as Great Sand Dunes National Monument on March 17, 1932, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve was established by an act of the United States Congress on September 13, 2004.[3] The park includes 44,246 acres (17,906 ha), and the preserve protects an additional 41,686 acres (16,870 ha).[1]

      The park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising to a maximum height of 750 feet (229 m)[4] from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range, covering about 19,000 acres (7,700 ha). Researchers say that the dunes started forming less than 440,000 years ago.

      The dunes were formed from sand and soil deposits of the Rio Grande and its tributaries, flowing through the San Luis Valley. Over the ages, glaciers feeding the river and the vast lake that existed upon the valley melted, and the waters evaporated. Westerly winds picked up sand particles from the lake and river flood plain. As the wind lost power before crossing the Sangre de Cristo Range, the sand was deposited on the east edge of the valley. This process continues, and the dunes are slowly growing. The wind changes the shape of the dunes daily.[5]

      Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Wikipedia

      It's not easy hiking up sand dunes..........but I didn't come this far!
      Smaller park but one cool,unique visit!
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    Travel - With Native American History
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