Tracing the route back to the campground, it occurred to me that while the stunning dunes are the marquee attraction here, it is up the lonely trails into the preserve that other, forgotten treasures may be found.
Rocky Mountain Hiking
The well-maintained trail to Blue Lake is about 3 miles in length and is suitable for most hikers.
On the eastern flank of the Sierra Madre Mountains, Encampment provides an off-the-beaten-path destination, perfect for solitude and hiking.
But the sprawling Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, straddling the Gunnison River for 14 miles, offers the most exciting, scenic and challenging one-mile trek we’ve encountered.
Once summer fades into autumn, frosty mornings, bugling elk and golden aspen are harbingers of the coming winter.