Crowds flock to the Great Sand Dunes to ride the epic Medano Creek surge flow

Posted at 1:41 PM, Jun 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-10 15:47:05-04

ALAMOSA – This year’s above-average snowpack is making for some surge surfing on Medano Creek at Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Crowds filled the park this weekend to take advantage of the creek’s surge flow, a naturally-occurring, but rare phenomenon where creek water flows in waves across the sand.

National Park Service reports Medano Creek is currently flowing above-average annual peak flow and rising. After a very cold, snowy winter and spring, temperatures are finally warming and bringing good runoff. Because of the very high snowpack, above average flow will likely continue and peak sometime in the next week or two.

Currently, the creek is approximately 30-60 feet (10-20 m) wide, 1-15 inches (2-38 cm) deep, and exhibiting strong surge flow. Throughout the season, flow is generally highest at dawn and lowest at dusk.

Snowpack in Medano Pass is currently over 160% of normal rage for this date. Medano Creek’s flow is now forecast to be over 160% of average in depth and duration in 2019.