Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado-Super Dog Friendly!

As soon as I pulled up to our campsite, I regretted only planning to be at Great Sand Dunes National Park for only one night.  Our site, #20 had a good view of The Dunes as well as the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.  Before even setting our tent up, or hiking the dunes, this felt like a place I could just relax for a few days.


The campsite next to us.



We arrived early evening, as planned to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms that are common, although we did drive through them to reach GSDNP! A bit scary at a couple points.



Yes, Sand Dunes in the Middle of Colorado!

As soon as I set our tent up and got food out for Chico and I, we had a visitor-a doe! The doe would’ve walked right up to us, but, when she got about 15 feet away, I said, STOP!  I swear that the Doe was begging, and that she was also smiling at me.  She just kinda hung out there, smiling and wagging her tail, until we left to do some dune hiking from the dune picnic area down the road between the visitor center and the campground.


Wow,  I can’t capture the beauty in photos or video, or, the feeling.  Since it was early evening the storms had stopped, and the sand had cooled off, and other people were also just arriving with their dogs, and also with boards to surf down the sand.



Something about this sand made Chico super nutty and hyper, he just wanted to frolic!  Meanwhile, walking uphill in sand…is high elevation? Harder lol. I was too slow for the cheeks!



We returned to the campground, and decided to take the trail from the campground to the dunes. The sun was just starting to go down, again, super gorgeous. The trail from the campground to the dunes, is easy to follow, but, it also has some stickers on it, they are on the side of the trail, but broken bits were also on the trail, and I had to pull some off of Chico’s paws.  We also saw bigger family of deer here.






When we returned to camp, I was more than ready to crawl in bed and just read.   And I just loved reading with no distractions, except Chico of course:)




I got this great new lantern light while in Mammoth Lakes that I love! It is bright, but also has a bug zapper setting, and I hang it through a loop in my tent.  I don’t use the bug zapper in the tent usually.  This past spring I also upgraded to the EXped 10 sleeping mat, and it is heaven. Yes it’s something that I can never use backpacking, but to be honest, I don’t see myself backpacking anytime soon, it’s just not where my head is at right now. I camp enough to want to be comfortable when I sleep, I am a side sleeper, and Chico sleeps with me.


The next morning I started breakfast, and we had visitors again! This time the doe brought her fawn,  They just hung out, while the doe ate the bushes at our campsite, smiling at us. The fawn really seemed intrigued by Chico, like it wanted to meet him.  And then the fawn fed from the doe right there in front of us, while the doe smiled at me. Like she was saying, “look, I’m a mom too! It was really a magical moment. I can’t believe that I also caught it on video.




I have more video, and maybe when I can figure out how to embed it better on wordpress, I’ll devote a whole blog post to this experience with deer in the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

After breakfast we took the camp trail back out to The Dunes, this time Chico had on his Grip Tex boots by Ruffwear, no more pulling stickers out! Also, though the sand wasn’t hot yet, I had read that it can get hot really fast.



This was our 2nd time wearing this new style, and they really stood up! Watch Chico kick his little paws in this video, he does this often after peeing lol.

We had such a fun time out on the Dunes! You could wander for hours out there.


I started to notice that Chico was really squinting his eyes, and when I took my sunglasses off I realized how bright the sand was even though it was still early morning, so out came his Rex Specs, I had brought them with us in case it was windy and sand was blowing in his eyes.


Squinty Eyes




While we were out there I decided to stay a few hours longer and skip our camping reservation for that night, and stay in a hotel instead.  We would’ve gotten to the out of the way campground after dark and rain was also in the forecast.  I really need to come back and explore this area of Colorado more.




I can’t wait to come back to Great Sand Dunes National Park, there is so much we didn’t do. While we walked for miles in the sand, we didn’t do any of the Dune hikes, and we didn’t do any of the other hikes in the park, there are also forested trails., a couple which allow dogs.  Zappata Falls are also right outside the park entrance.  Leashed pets are allowed in the Dunes, Campgrounds, and in the National Preserve, but not in the back country




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