Tijeras Peak, Great Sand Dunes National Preserve
At 13,604 feet (4,146m), Tijeras Peak is the highest mountain in the park and preserve - but most visitors never notice it! It's hidden in a spectacular alpine basin northeast of the dunes, the watershed for Sand Creek. This wide-angle sunrise view with the moon was taken from Music Pass, primarily accessed from the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Tijeras Peak is also visible from the northern half of the San Luis Valley, but it's not as dramatic from the west, just a high point on a sharp ridge. The east sides of the Rocky Mountains are where the most snow collects, and where glaciers carved tall cliffs and lakebeds.
View a short video of a hike to Lower Sand Creek lake, at the base of Tijeras Peak, on our Hiking and Backpacking page:
A huge thank you to @westcliffecolorado for having me as a guest this week! Also couldn't miss an opportunity to drop a timelapse showcasing the gorgeous vista Bluff and Summit Park offers at the edge of Westcliffe, hands down one of the best views of the Sangres! 💬 & 📷: @coloradotimelapse
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I couldn't think of a more fitting name for this mountain range. The name alone evokes images of hidden treasures, endless adventures, and unforgettable scenery. I haven't explored the Sangres as much as I would like ,but they definitely don't disappoint in any of these aspects. 📷&💬: @coloradotimelapse
Three different types of sand make up the great sand dunes. The fine grained sand is volcanic and travels 50 miles on water and wind from the San Juan mountains. The coarse grained sand is washed down from the Sangre de Cristo Range. The black sand is actually the mineral Black Magnetite. We know that wind, water and the mountains have much to do with why the sand dunes are here, but scientists are still studying them to figure out exactly why and how they formed.
@coloradotimelapse here 🌲 Sometimes we fixate ourselves on the gear or technical aspects of photography, while sometimes all it takes to capture a fleeting moment is whatever camera we have on us and the perspective each one of us has of that moment. Great example in this capture by @falassions!
Hey everyone, Daniel here, aka @coloradotimelapse, and I will be taking over the @westcliffecolorado account this week and sharing some photos from the Westcliffe area with you over the week. Make sure to stay tuned!