librarian + adventurer


Great Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes Pool in Hooper, CO
Site: Cabin 2
Amenities: four walls and a roof!, heat, electricity, sink pump, firepit, access to a 24-hour shower and laundry facility, AND a year-round heated outdoor pool

I am 13 weeks of school away from having a Master's Degree. And if that doesn't scream TAKE A WEEKEND AWAY, then I don't know what does. So, we took a weekend away, and we headed down to the San Luis Valley to glamp (whaaaat??) and explore.

We drove down late Friday night (I worked until 8pm that night) and we slept in until 9:00 Saturday morning. The campground at the park is closed for the winter, so we had to drive 30 ish minutes to get to the park from our cabin. We went and looked around the visitors center, had a momentary panic attack where I thought I lost my parks pass, and stamped my passport. After a quick lunch, we headed to the dunes and started exploring. 

Not going to lie, I laughed out loud with delight when we had to cross some snow and a creek to get to the dunefield. SNOW AND SAND IN THE SAME PLACE! (Basically this entire trip was me exclaiming loudly about how much I loved everything that we were doing)

We crossed that cute little creek and started walking. Its hard work to walk in sand. For every step we took forward, we slid half a step backwards. The base of the Sand Dunes sits at 7,515 ft. So not incredibly high elevation, but high enough that those slips backwards wear on you. Not to mention the wind was gusting at 30 mph (I just looked that up, so that's not even an exaggeration), meaning our faces were being sliced into by hundreds of tiny needles if we looked the wrong direction. 

This picture isn't fuzzy because it's out of focus. It's fuzzy because the sand is going crazy. 

We made our way up and watched a group of people making a snowboarding video (yes, snowboarding) and stopped atop a dune with a great view of the mountains. The clouds were looking ominous and we knew a snowstorm was supposed to be coming in, so we turned around. What took us almost 2 hours to climb up took us about 20 minutes to climb down. SAND IS SO WEIRD!

These skies are why we ultimately turned around on the dunes. 

We went to get milkshakes and Jenga in Alamosa. I cooked dinner sitting in the cabin with the stove on the porch (quite possibly my favorite part of this whole glamping experience). In all honesty, staying in a cabin was exactly what I needed for this weekend. Getting in late on Friday nights is stressful. We have to pay for a hotel because who wants to pitch a tent and blow up a sleeping pad at 1:30 am, and then we have to pack everything up and move to a tent site in the morning. As much as I love my tent (and it really is a lot), it was nice to pull up to a cabin, have a heater, have a place to brush my teeth, and get into bed. Plus, the cabin had the cutest little window at the foot of the bed that made me so happy. 

The cutest little foot pump sink!

I could (and if the opportunity arises, will) stay here again. It was perfect. Plus, look at this view: