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San Luis Dried Lakebed
Gar the Bold
San Luis Lake State Park and Campground
Closest available address
From Highway 17 and the town of Mosca, go 10 miles east on Lane 6
Park is open 5am-10pm - office hours more limited, overnight camping.
Best time to visit
Early Casualty to Global Warming?
San Luis Lake is thousands of years old. San Luis Sangre website says this about the antiquity of the Lake: "With artifacts of Folsom Man found nearby, the wildlife and water supply of the lakes has attracted humans for hunting and camping for more than ten thousand years. Pueblo Indians retell the legend that their people originated under the sparkling waters of San Luis Lake."
Unfortunately, this beautiful glacier fed lake suddenly dried up last year. Viewing the remaining lakebed is a remarkable experience however.
The mountain glaciers that feed this lake have been receding for years, but in 2012 the water flow suddenly reached a tipping point that unexpectedly dried up the lake more quickly than anyone expected. The nationwide drought also hurt.
Many believe that global warming is the major contributing factor to the shrinking of glaciers around the world. This lake may be just an early casualty, but it remains a remarkably poignant sight.
I have been to forty nine of the fifty states, but I have never seen anything quite like this. If you are in the vicinity of the Great Sand Dunes National Park, you should definitely take a look.
The campground is quite convenient and even has little curved open shelters to provide some protection from the sun. They afford much privacy because few people visit the dry lake now. Nighttime skies are incredibly unimpeded by artificial light since there are no cities nearby.
Check the Colorado State Parks website for current weather conditions. This is high desert, therefore temperatures can be reasonable even in the summer.
Gar the Bold
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