They don’t call it the majestic San Luis Valley for nothing! Flowing down from the neighboring Sangre de Cristo mountains, an abundance of snowmelt forms from stream to river that winds down and across the front door of the Great Sand Dunes. Recognized as one of Colorado’s most unique beaches, Medano Creek offers a recreational oasis that allows visitors to take in the sights while relaxing or playing in it’s cool flowing water. Build a sandcastle, go skim boarding, or tube down the river for the full experience.
Peak Adventure Time
“Surge flow” is a phenomenon known to frequent visitors which occurs when snowmelt reaches its peak. The river usually flows strongest in the springtime and is reinforced by a strong snowpack from the previous winter. On any given day the river is flowing, waves sporadically form when water surges over ripples in the sand and through wide sections of the stream. This creates a “wave pool” type setting making splish splashing in the river extraordinarily fun in the springtime.
No visit to Medano Creek is exactly the same, as waterflow and conditions depend largely on time of season and snowpack (the water’s source). Flowing strong in the spring and disappearing come late summer, you’ll need to visit when the time is right to experience it fully. Be sure to check Great Sand Dune National Park & Preserve’s website for updated information on the creek’s flow.