Trip Reports: A Night In The Great Sand Dunes, Colorado - June 2011

On Monday I headed to the Great Sand Dunes for a quick overnighter. I hiked in at about 10pm, slept on a dune for about 4 hours, then woke up around 3:30am to shoot the setting (nearly full) moon, followed by sunrise. 

I had a blast out there with the camera… so much fun! And the hike out with Pink Floyd Meddle playing on my headphones was pretty groovy too!

Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, clouds, photo

Medano Twilight

Spooky clouds hang over Medano Creek and the Great Sand Dunes after sunset.

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, moonshine, photo

A setting full moon illuminates the dunes with dim alpenglow, enhanced by a long, high sensitivity exposure.

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, moonset, San Luis Valley, photo

Dunes Moonset

A nearly full moon sets beyond the San Luis Valley, as seen from the Great Sand Dunes. 

Blue, Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, photo

Blue Dawn

A deep blue early dawn sky casts a luscious blue hue on the dunes during this 2-minute exposure.

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, sunlight, photo

Touch of Sunlight

These shades of color lasted only for the brief moment when the rising sunlight was just beginning to touch the dunes.

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, sand, photo

Sea of Sand

Waves of sand crash onto the mountain shore.

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, ripples, photo

Two Ripples

Two patterns of ripples catch the morning light in the Dunes. 

Colorado,Great Sand Dunes,dunes, photo

Morning in the Dunes

Morning light in the Great Sand Dunes.

Colorado,Great Sand Dunes, photo

Sand Shadows

Morning light and shadow play in the waves of sand.