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.


Post a Comment
Viewing: 41-55 of 55
Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Mar 20, 2007 10:13 am - Hasn't voted

Re: WOW!

Thanks for looking, Shiloh! Yes, it's great to be able to spend time with my son--they grow up so very fast. :-( --mark d.


eric.degiuli - Jun 15, 2007 3:51 pm - Hasn't voted

Great scene

The lighting is magnificent! I would like to see a horizontal rendition.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Jun 16, 2007 7:43 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Great scene

Thanks for looking, Eric. Yes, we waited around for the clouds to cooperate and let the sun shine through. Patience paid off! I'll have to dig through CDs to find the horizontal shots, but when I get some time I'll see if I can do that for you. Again, thanks for looking! :-) mark d.


mnichols - Sep 23, 2007 3:35 pm - Voted 10/10

Great Sand Dunes are amazing

The Sand Dunes--and the Sangre de Cristo mountains nearby--comes together as my favorite place in Colorado. The mountains, the improbability of the dunes, they both contribute to its sheer natural beauty.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Sep 23, 2007 6:38 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great Sand Dunes are amazing

It is a great place. I see you're at the academy. I'm retired USAF (27-1/2 years), and have a daughter currently active duty USAF, as well as her husband. Enjoy your career--I'm sure you'll find it a challenge! :-) --mark d.

Dan Helmstadter - Sep 28, 2007 2:13 pm - Hasn't voted


There is something special about that peak. nice going captureing that bueaty.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Sep 30, 2007 4:57 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: nice

Thanks for looking and the complement, Dan! --mark d.


runawayreignbow - Oct 22, 2008 1:56 pm - Voted 10/10


stunning!! your photos are just incredible...

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Oct 22, 2008 1:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: absolutely

Thanks for the very nice comment, Runawayreignbow! --mark d.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Sep 27, 2009 7:59 am - Hasn't voted

Re: That is an unusual place.

Thanks, Alec, and good luck to you and your family on their quest. --mark d.

Senad Rizvanovic

Senad Rizvanovic - Dec 23, 2009 3:01 pm - Voted 10/10

Great shot!

I love the area, amazing peaks!

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Dec 24, 2009 7:27 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Great shot!

Thanks, SenadR, it is a beautiful place! --mark d.

Silvia Mazzani

Silvia Mazzani - May 15, 2012 5:44 pm - Voted 10/10

Almost a paint!

Artistic shot, it seems almost a paint.



TJ311 - Aug 1, 2014 1:14 pm - Voted 10/10

What a beautiful shot

I'm going to hike this dune in about a month. Thanks for posting this awesome picture. Can't wait to see it for myself!!

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 3, 2014 9:13 am - Hasn't voted

Re: What a beautiful shot

Thanks for looking and commenting; have a great hike!

--mark d.

Viewing: 41-55 of 55