Desert Speaks

Tracks In The Shifting Sand

Season 14, Episode 6 of 13

Explore one of the largest dune fields in North America at the Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area. The Algodones Dunes in Southern California stretch across more than two hundred square miles and are visited by more than 1.4 million people each year, most of whom use some sort of off-road vehicle. A state highway splits the northern part of the dune field between wilderness and recreational area, but the task of monitoring the usage creates problems of its own. In stark contrast, the Gran Desierto Dunes are characterized by magnificent isolation. Located in Mexico, these dunes lie within a biosphere reserve and are further protected from large crowds by a nearly inaccessible road built essentially from well-placed trash and old tires. See firsthand why this dune system is known for its unique formations created by the constantly shifting winds and how the native plants adapt to the unpredictable gusts. Finally, visit Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in southern Utah and become a track detective to learn what stories can be told by animal tracks left in the sand.

Previously Aired

7 a.m.
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