Great Sand Dunes National Park, located in the state of Colorado in the United States, encompasses an area of 340 square kilometers (130 square miles, or 85,000 acres) of magnificent sand dunes. The 12,000 year old sand dunes include the tallest dunes in North America, rising 230 meters (750 feet) above the valley floor. The park contains other landscape features found in the high desert, such as alpine lakes, tundra, forests, grasslands, and wetlands, all of which provide habitats for many kinds of wildlife. Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking over the dunes, though it is wise to either keep the visitor center in sight, or bring a compass, as there are no marked trails on the ever-changing dunes. The closest town with accommodation is Alamosa, 30 miles southwest of the park. There is also tent camping available within the park. The nearest international airport is located in Denver, the capital of Colorado, which is a 4 1/2 hour drive from the park.
The Anasazi Pueblo People were an ancient culture of Native Americans who were believed to have lived as long ago as the 12 century BCE. These ancient peoples are known for the impressive pueblo homes, made of mud, stone, or carved into canyon walls, which are today called the Anasazi Ruins. These ruins can be found at many sites in the American Southwest, including Mesa Verde National Park, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Dark Canyon Wilderness, and other sites predominately located in the states of Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. All of these ruins are sacred places and should be treated with respect when visited.
The ski and snowboard season is here, and Colorado has no shortage of resorts. Monarch Ski Resort is one of them, with its base located at a staggering 10,790 ft elevation, high in the Sawatch Range of the Colorado Rockies. At Monarch Ski Resort, you can enjoy carving fresh powder in the morning, break for lunch at one of their three fantastic restaurants, and head out to hit the terrain park in the afternoon. If you’re looking for something a little different, you can take a snowcat tour, or strap on your board and explore the 130 acre Mirkwood Basin for some extreme riding. For you veterans who are always looking to switch it up, Monarch Ski Resort is partnered with 17 different ski resorts that offer free days and deep discounts to Monarch Ski Resort season pass holders. So what are you waiting for? Slap some wax on that board and hit the slopes!