Great Sand Dunes NP of Colorado

July 2011 we headed to The Great Dunes to meet up with some friends from Albuquerque… only a small turnout of the four of us but was still good fun. Snagged a pleasant camp site at Great Sand Dunes Oasis. It was a dry year for the stream so we opted to do this hike outside the park.  Beautiful day for being outdoors.

The Architects are Ready to Hike

So these architects all met in Grad School at CU Denver a few years back and have worked in some of the same firms with some of the same people so was a ” Do you remember…?” type of weekend.  Best friend German Shepard – his first time on the trail carrying his own water.

Zapata Falls required hopping stones to get this view

Zapata Falls was spectacular. Was worth the rock hopping to get this view. This picture with three of us gives the falls a sense of scale.

Looking at the basin that holds the Dunes

A nice photo of us with the valley in the back ground. The sun was intense. The wildflowers were in full bloom as well as some oputias – gotta love the cactus! Pleasant to hear the aspens rustle in the wisp of a breeze.

The Architects on the Trail to Zapata Lake

We figure we only made it about 2/3rds of the trail to the lake.  We found out afterwards it was a 5 hour hike to the lake (not round trip), is a 2500 foot elevation gain. So we probably climbed about 1500 foot elevation gain in a 5 hour round trip hike. Snapped this at the stream crossing where we lingered, refueled, and turned back. So next year a bit earlier in the season so it is cooler…?

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