Next stop – Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. We loved the White Sands in New Mexico and I was really excited to see this sand. Really pretty. But -
Unlike White Sands you can’t really drive out among the dunes unless you have an ATV. (Jeri, are you paying attention here?) About 90% of the dune field of 1200 acres is open to OHV’s. The dunes are seven miles long and you’re welcome to walk out to them. Just not going to happen for us.
We took a few pictures and walked a little ways in the dunes which were created by three factors: sand, high wind, and a unique influence upon those high winds. Here at the dunes, a notch between the Moquith and Moccasin mountains causes this unique influence. Wind is funneled through this notice, increasing wind velocity to a point where it can carry grains of sand from the eroding Navajo sandstone. This phenomenon is known as the Venturi Effect. After the wind passes through the notch and into the open valley, wind velocity decreases, depositing the sand.
The color of the sand is due to the high concentration of iron oxide in the sandstone.