The tallest dunes in North America, Great Sand Dunes NP measures 30 square miles and is estimated to hold more than 5 billion cubic meters of sand. My wife and I were on our way to Utah and decided to stay here for a few nights since we've never got around to visiting this park. I've spent plenty of time trudging through the sand at Jockey's Ridge State Park in North Carolina, but that's nothing compared to the scale of the Great Sand Dunes. The initial climb into the dunes is a challenging experience. I was out of breath, my legs were on fire, and my back felt like it was going to buckle in half from carrying my camera gear.
I had a clear idea of what I wanted to photograph while I was here. Instead of large vast landscapes, I wanted to focus on the lines and curves of the perfect wind swept dunes. The hardest part was finding a sand dune with a shape that I liked. I spotted this from what looked to be a 1/4 mile away. I though the walk over to it would be easy, it ended up being exhausting. There are so many layers of dunes, it's hard to see where one stops and another starts. We had to climb up and down about 3 or 4 to make it to this one. Once there, we just hung out and waited for the sun to set which created a wonderful contrast of lights and darks.