For many years, I've wanted to try my hand at sandboarding. Growing up, I've been to several sand dunes, including these same ones, however, riding a board down the hills was never part of it. And to think of it, I'm not even sure they were doing this at that time. So now that we all longboard, Chris and I figured we could all give it a shot. Well, it's a little different from skateboarding, mostly do to the fact that your feet are strapped it. None of us snowboard (even though we want to give that a shot as well) so there is no experience coming from that sport either. Needless to say, this is completely new to us. We ended up renting one sandboard and one sled. The boards are all $20 for the day and you can rent them at a shop that's located before entering the park. The park does not rent any boards so beware of that before going in. When we got there, they had plenty to choose from and that was at about 9:30am. You may also want to note that the mosquitos upon entering the park are atrocious! There were literally hundreds flying around the cars and we didn't happen to bring bug spray with us so I was a little apprehensive about getting out. The park ranger said that once you cross the "river" it will get much better... it did. Surprisingly, there were none to be felt nor seen on the other side. Praise Jesus.
Well, the kids loved it here. I think it was mainly because of the water flowing down the middle of the dunes and the freedom they had to just play. It also reminded them of being at Cocoa Beach but without the sharks of course. They pretty much divided up their time between sledding/boarding and splashing in the water. Myla was really the only one who could float the mini rapids. The other two were just a little too heavy to really get going but that didn't phase them in the least. The sun was shining, the river was flowing and the dunes were completely amazing. These photos can't do the dunes any sort of justice. You truly have to see them in person to grasp just how big they really are. Chris and Montana hiked a good portion up and then sledded down, however, even they said it was a rough hike. It gets hot fast, so bring plenty of water. It also looks like we have the place to ourselves which we really didn't but in the section we were at, we did. For some reason, everyone stayed down in the front while we hiked to the right section with the least amount of people. Worked out great for us. After 3 hours of hanging out, getting plenty of sun and creating new memories, we packed up and headed home. If you're heading this way, it's definitely worth a stop to see the Great Sand Dunes National Park.