Great Sand Dunes National Park | 51/59

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – who put this here?! Who knew Great Sand Dunes would just be right there and so epic. (Maybe everyone knew haha, but we were seriously impressed.)

The main thing to do in this park is PLAY! Bring your sand boards, toys, and even swimsuits and have a day at the beach in a landlocked state! I love it!

Pets are even allowed on the dunes, which Vladimir was stoked about. He hasn’t had a really good kitty adventure in a long time.

We decided to hike up High Dune around sunset for some epic views. It was actually pretty steep on the dunes and quite the strenuous thigh-burner. Vladimir made it up almost the whole way, but had to get a free ride a few times. He did great though.

Frolicking is a given. You just really can’t help yourself.

We had so much fun running around and jumping off the dunes. We felt like kids again and I love that. You don’t get that feeling total carefreeness very often.



Watch out all your cat ladies, Vladimir is on the prowl. That smolder 🙂

We camped on some BLM land outside the park and the next day went to check out Zapata Falls.

Only 1/4 of a mile up the trail we found a frozen castle of magicalness. Sometimes, I really love it when the reward is not so far away haha.

These frozen falls were amazing, still and quite, yet alive – underneath the sheath of ice you could hear them trickling. Seeing all of this made Cees want to try ice climbing. I don’t know if I’m super stoked on that idea haha. I really don’t like being cold or wet, or worse both.

Don’t forget the trusty spikes for your feet! These things have saved my butt many times this winter.

Vie is looking a little hammered these days, but you have got to hand it  to her – she’s taken us over 35,000 miles around our beautiful country to experience countless incredible places. We love you Vie!



  1. This park looks incredible! You guys always inspire me to seek out adventure!
    Madison, I have a little question for you. Your hair always looks so nice, and I was wondering how you maintain it on the road. It may seem like a silly question, but my hair is pretty curly, and I find it gets so tangled and crazy after a few days! Although I’m a pro at sink showers, I find the only way I can spruce up my curls is with water and conditioner, which isn’t always easily available on the road, or when backpacking. Brushing my hair when it’s dry only makes it go afro/frizzy on me, which isn’t too fun either. I’d love it if you did a blog post or gave a few tips on hair care on the road (if you have any!).
    Thanks so much, you guys are the best!

    • Madison

      Julia! You are the sweetest thanks for your comment! I feel ya with the tangley curls… my hair is pretty coarse and long and gets really gnarly really fast haha. It may look okay, but it’s definitely not nice to touch haha. We also have a very limited shower situation and honestly we shower once about every 5-7 days in the RV, so usually I will braid my hair after a shower and try to leave the braid in for at least 2 days haha, then when I finally take it out my hair still smells really awesome and is still soft from the shower and brushing from the other day. And usually for the other days I just brush/ sometimes dampen the hair a tiny bit in the sink at night and rebraid it for bed (if you didn’t want to brush your curls, you could just use your fingers to get some of the knots out I suppose, I went through a phase once when I lived in hawaii when I didn’t brush my hair for 6 months and just let it be crazy and super curly and wild haha), then wake up and take it out during the day…and I can do that for the rest of the 3-5 days, but usually by the last day it goes in a bun because it’s getting too gross for me haha. I was a shower and wash every single day kind of girl in my past life haha, and I NEVER believed people when they said that your hair adjusts and you can go a long time without washing your hair once you get in the routine of it. But, I’m hear to say, it’s totally true! After about a month of very limited washing, my hair adjusted and does really pretty well. If I do notice it getting a little oily I will brush some Arrowroot powder on my scalp and that really helps (just a natural alternative to the baby powder trick). I can totally do a blog post sometime about all this, that’s a good suggestion! Thank you!

      • Thank you so so much for taking the time to reply to me! That’s all such helpful info, I definitely have to try the braiding trick and the Arrowroot powder. You’re the best! <3

  2. Dawn from Camano Island

    Who knew–frozen falls in New Mexico! It’s all about the elevation–great photos. Glad Vlad got out & about. Thank you for the arrowroot tip, Madison. I’ve used baking soda in the past when we’re boondocking but it was really pretty gross. Gosh, you really appreciate a good proper shower when you boondock!

    If/when we get to Great Sand Dunes, we’ll be sure to pack some acceleration devices–sounds like fun!

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