National Geographic : 1932 Jul
Photograph by Charles M. Smyth THE GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL MONUMENT IS UNCLE SAM'S NEWEST PLAYGROUND In the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, in an area less than ten miles square, is this Sahara in miniature. The snow-capped Sangre deCristo Mountains rim the tiny desert on one side and lush irrigated fields on the other. Some of the dunes risetoaheight of8oofeet. Sofine isthesand that skiing enthusiasts sometimes race over the slopes in summer. President Hoover created the monumentbyexecutive order March 17,1932.