Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Monument
Medano Creek is a seasonal creek that flows along the east side of the dune field. Note the difference in the number of plants and animals in this narrow strip of land as opposed to the dune field itself.
This creek forms a natural boundary between the dunefield and valley. The creek is supplied by snowmelt from the nearby mountains. In the spring, it flows higher and gradually ceases during the course of the summer. Typically, the stream is shallow and is easy to cross. In late June, it was only a few inches deep. The stream flows through the sandbed and branches out in mulitple channels. Along the creekbed is a popular place for children to play and make sand castles.
Parking lot is almost right near dunes. Before you will be able to get to the sand, you will have to cross Medano Creek first. We were in the middle of summer, so the creek was almost dead, it looked more as a mud with a little of water, not as a creek. However, during late spring and early summer the creek is alive; it flows with cool water from mountains along sand dunes. At this period of time, I am not sure how to handle the crossing the creek if you wear snickers or other shoes. I guess, just take them off, and then put them on again.
Current conditions of the creek you can find here
Medano Creek is a paradise for kids any warm season. During spring they enjoy shallow swimming in it, during late summers, they enjoy paddling the mud. Tell you the truth, I was ready to do jump into the mud, like kids did and enjoy the coolness of a few water streams. Ah… being an adult not always fun.
I noticed some people who spent their time near Medano Creek sitting under umbrella and sipping cold coke. Actually it is another way to spend time in Sand Dunes. Why to climb, if you can just sit and watch others climbing.
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