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Unique Natural Phenomenon Turns Great Sand Dunes Into a Water Park

sand dunes

If you’ve ever played on sand dunes, you know that the draw is, well, the sand dunes.

But every year, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado has something a little extra.

Along Medano Creek in the park, visitors can ride waves of water. The phenomenon is called a surge flow, and it happens in the spring and early summer.

Melting snow from the peaks of the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains flows down toward the dunes. Water pressure builds up behind underwater sand ridges. When the ridges break, a wave is released. Medano Creek has a sandy creek bottom, free of debris. That makes it perfect for the surge flow along the shallow creek.

The surge waves make the area along the dune base perfect for tubing and wake boarding.

What happens to the water? It gets absorbed back into the sand.

By the end of July, the creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve will be dried up.

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Unique Natural Phenomenon Turns Great Sand Dunes Into a Water Park