Medano Pass and the Great Sand Dunes


2 years ago, Brian and I decided on a whim to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park for the 4th of July. Barely prepared and thoroughly excited, we loaded up the car and headed south. Without doing any preparation or research, this trip actually ended up being one of the best trips we have ever taken together.


2 years later, we figured it was time to retrace our steps – but this time with our REVEL family, and a bit more preparation.

As it turns out, some things just can’t be prepared for…

On the evening before we left, we received a call from our friends Chris and Lisa. Their flight out to Denver had just been cancelled. The entire western portion of the U.S. was plagued with thunderstorms causing a wave of flight cancellations. Not only that, but we later received a call from our friends Chris and Angela who had gone down a day early to scout a campsite for our large group. Despite their valiant attempts, all they had found were sites covered in huge swarms of mosquitos. Things were starting to turn on us…

Unsure of what else to do, we decided to push forward. We prevailed.

The next day, Chris and Lisa boarded their rescheduled flight, while Chris and Angela found an incredible and mosquito free (well, mostly) campsite with plenty of room and a gorgeous view.




Our final destination was along Medano Pass Road: a rocky, muddy, and sometimes creek-covered trail.

Medano Trail sign

A few of our friends had never ridden a trail like this before. Brian made sure to give each of them a lesson in off-roading while giving them a turn at the wheel. They all had a blast and a few of them even began questioning their next car purchases so they can do more overlanding in the future.





After checking out the dunes, we headed to Zapata Falls for a quick hike with a refreshing 30 ft. waterfall at the end. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend this pit stop. (Caution: Your shoes will get wet!)


On that note, if you want to stay exactly where we camped, here are the coordinates to our site: 37°51’31.0″N 105°24’28.1″W

All in all, the trip was a blast. I’d say it’s safe to assume this type of trip is a tradition in the making.

Happy Birthday America!

Track: Dance All Night by Tnertle (featuring Lily Fangz)