Great Sand Dunes was a National Monument when I first visited in 2002. Great Sand Dunes NP, located in Colorado’s San Luis Valley at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, preserves one of the largest and tallest dunes fields in the US. The weather system which continued to affect northern CO provided for interesting sunset and sunrise light.
The sunrise in particular was fascinating. Due to the east-west orientation of the dunes, I hoped for good light and clouds on the east facing slopes as the sun rose.
Instead – and I expect due to the cloud cover – the light first hit on the plains to the west and moved eastward to the western end of the dunes. I’ve only seen this once before – during a sunset over Yellowstone Lake – and I believe to be caused by gaps in clouds above the layer visible from the ground.
Dune photography is fun – the wind and sand patterns offer infinite composition options – for detail, intimate, and grande landscape perspectives.