medano creek

Spring green joins nature’s vibrant palette at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. Late spring is one of the more visually stunning times of the year at the park, when aspen and cottonwoods show bright new leaves, Medano Creek is flowing and the mountains are still snowcapped. The unexpected combination of these diverse elements brings a response of awe, along with a desire to share the experience with others. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.

Green cottonwoods flourish by Medano Creek at the edge of the dunefield in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in Colorado. The tallest dunes in North America spread across 30 square miles, creating a unique high-altitude desert environment and a place of extremes. The sand surface can reach 150 degrees on a summer afternoon, or drop to minus 20 degrees on a winter night. Surfing the dunes is a fun summer activity. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.