Dunes Sunset with Crestone Peaks

Dunes Sunset with Crestone Peaks

Sunset at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, CO reveals the natural order of things. At the bottom of the image is the verdant San Luis Valley. Hidden below that, extending 10,000 feet deep is the aquifer that brings life to the surrounding area. Behind the valley floor are the beautiful sand formations of Great Sand Dunes National Park. The most prominent one in the image is Star Dune, the tallest dune in North America. Further back is a slope that leads up to the nearest peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (off the image to the right). Farther back is the jagged line of 14,294' Crestone Peak's twin summits, at one time considered unclimbable. Behind the peaks are wind-whipped clouds, representing that invisible companion that constantly scrubs the sand below of all evidence of human trespass. Forming the final backdrop is a dramatic layering of high, dark clouds bringing new rain to the mountains, from where it will eventually flow to the aquifer, bringing the remarkable sand with it. Imaged August 2006.

Mark Doiron
on Aug 9, 2006 12:48 am
Image Type(s): Scenery
Image ID: 214103


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Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 9, 2006 2:10 am - Hasn't voted

Re: picture

Pkfrancev--Thanks! I took the image a number of times (I do love digital!), including several horizontals. But I too felt that the horizontal division was better emphasized in this one. I almost titled it "Layers on Layers", but decided against it since that doesn't help anyone using SP's search engine if they're interested in images of the dunes.

Again, thanks for taking a look!

mark d.


desainme - Aug 9, 2006 3:51 am - Voted 10/10

Reminds me of an

upside down view of Mt. Blanc. There are lots of good pix of the top of Mt. Blanc with sand dune effects in the snow drifts. In such pictures, the Crestones are replaced by the Aiguilles but they are below the summit of Mt. Blanc.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 9, 2006 10:51 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Reminds me of an

Thanks for looking, Desainme!

mark d.


JasonH - Aug 9, 2006 4:25 am - Voted 10/10

Great Shot!

Reminds me of Lord Of The Ring.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 9, 2006 12:28 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great Shot!

Wow, yeah! That dark sky, hunh?

mark d.


Chris - Aug 9, 2006 10:36 pm - Voted 10/10


I really like the composition of this shot... nice job!!

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 9, 2006 10:52 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great!

Thanks, Chris, for taking a look and for the nice compliment!

mark d.


Vladislav - Aug 10, 2006 12:14 am - Voted 10/10


Not only the image but also your description are outstanding.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 10, 2006 11:25 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Amazing

Thanks, Vladislav. I think the descriptions are just as important--they help give the image context.

mark d.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 10, 2006 11:32 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Beautiful!

Thanks, BergClmbr7! Yeah, I had a really tough time climbing High Dune (8691') on day 2 of our trip, so I was a bit worried about attempting a 14'er on day 7. But Green Mountain (8563') went well on day 6, so I was pretty confident that I had adapted to the altitude and could make the 14'er. It was still tough for me (Curtis beat me by 30 minutes!), but I have the satisfaction of knowing I did it. Ironically, my opinion is that High Dune was the toughest climb of the three! Curtis even said it was as tough (for him) as Philmont's Baldy Mountain (12,441') last year.--mark d


rasgoat - Aug 10, 2006 2:24 am - Voted 10/10


Awesome shot, I have always loved the Crestones and the great dunes, but never have i seen them quite like this!

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 10, 2006 11:34 am - Hasn't voted

Re: YESS!!!!

Thanks, Rasgoat! Even as I was shooting this series of shots I felt it was going to be a pretty special image. Heh-heh: I remember even thinking, "Boy, Romek is going to want this in 'Mosaics in Mountains'".--mark d.


colint - Aug 10, 2006 7:29 am - Hasn't voted

Thats the shot

that made me want to climb!

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 10, 2006 11:38 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Thats the shot

Great! By the way, I do have an album on SP, "Why Do You Do It?". You're welcome to insert one of your images that tells that story, or to post a comment about why, if you'd like! Thanks for looking at my image--mark d.


Charles - Aug 10, 2006 7:39 am - Voted 10/10


Mark, that really is a classy shot..it goes on and on and...



Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 10, 2006 11:36 am - Hasn't voted

Re: super

Thanks, Charles! There's a lot in it, isn't there? I guess that's why my description got a bit lengthy!--mark d.


Charles - Aug 10, 2006 1:10 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: super

and who said "a picture says more than a 1000 words" :o))


shanrickv - Aug 10, 2006 12:46 pm - Voted 10/10

Great Memories

Mark, beautiful shot. I spent a wonderful weekend camping at the Sand Dunes with my brother and 6 out of our 8 kids a couple of weeks ago. It is a special place.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 10, 2006 1:01 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great Memories

Thanks, Patrick! I'll bet those youngn's had a great time playing in that big sandbox!--mark d.


Lorenz - Aug 10, 2006 3:30 pm - Voted 10/10


That looks like a painting!

Viewing: 1-20 of 57