Northern Coloradans are familiar with the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park, but there's another Centennial State treasure to explore: the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

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Located in Southern Colorado, the Great Sand Dunes boasts a unique landscape and stunning views of the Milky Way. It's nearly a five-hour drive from the Front Range, but thanks to Reddit, we can see it up close.

The history of the Great Sand Dunes National Park

According to the National Park Service (NPS), the Great Sand Dunes National Park has the tallest dune in North America — and one of the top-rated beaches in the country.

NPS notes that people likely set foot in the dunes around 11,000 years ago. However, even though President Herbert Hoover designated it as a national monument in 1932, the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) reports that it didn't reach national park status until 2004, making it Colorado's youngest national park.

Matt Noble // Unsplash
Matt Noble // Unsplash

There are plenty of things to do at Great Sand Dunes National Park, from camping to sand surfing to stargazing.

See the stars at Colorado's youngest national park

While the lengthy drive to the Sand Dunes is certainly worth it, you don't have to travel to enjoy the park.

Reddit u/Anon1230984567 made their way down south to share a video of the area's view of the galaxy.

"This was from midnight to 5AM on Saturday," said u/Anon1230984567. "633 photos taken at 25 second shutter speed in order to accomplish this timelapse!"

The user noted that temperatures were around 30 degrees, but that didn't stop them from appreciating Colorado's gorgeous scenery.

See more photos of the Great Sand Dunes National Park in the gallery below.,

Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

On Thursday, October 6, 2022, the Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and National Park Service Director Chuck Sams celebrated the transfer of roughly 9,362 acres of The Medano Ranch from the Nature Conservancy to Great Sand Dunes National Park.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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