Mosca in Alamosa County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
“Totally Unique and Unexpected”
The 30 square mile dunefield before you is the most impressive part of an enormous deposit of sand stretching west, south, and north. The San Juan Mountains on the far western horizon contributed most of the sand, which was washed by mountain streams into the San Luis Valley. From there, southwesterly winds blew, bounced and pushed the grains toward the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, piling them into the tallest dunes in North America.
The Great Sand Dunes System consists of:
Sabkha: A region where sand is cemented by evaporate salts from seasonal wetlands.
Sand Sheet: A large area of grasslands and small migrating dunes; about 53% of the sand deposit.
Main Dunefield: Thirty square miles of massive dunes.
Mountain Watershed: The source of water for the creeks that flow around the dunes.
Erected by National Park Service-United States Department of the Interior.
Location. 37° 41.753′ Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11999 Highway 150, Mosca CO 81146, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Landmark for People (approx. 0.9 miles away); Zebulon Pike's "sand-hills" (approx. 3 miles away); Sangre de Cristo Ecosystem (approx. 3.2 miles away); The Mountain Barrier (approx. 3.2 miles away); Stepping into Wilderness (approx. 3.4 miles away).
Categories. • Environment • Natural Features •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 430 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.