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Medano Creek

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<p>Nathaniel Minor/CPR News</p>
<p>Medano Creek at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve on a hot morning June 23, 2016.</p>
Medano Creek

One of the country’s top 25 beaches is here in landlocked Colorado in Great Sand Dunes National Park. Medano creek appears every spring as snowmelt runs off the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

As it flows into the valley, the water forms deep ripples in the creekbed, sand dams which stand against the flow until water pressure breaks them every 20 seconds or so. Each one sends a wave down the creek. In a wet year, waves can be as much as a foot high! Medano Creek in May looks like a typical ocean beach. People build sandcastles and frolic in the clean, fresh waves. But the creek dries up by August.

Medano Creek is more than recreation. It washes wind-blown sand back down to the valley floor and that maintains the size and shape of the tallest dunes in North America.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.