Drive 4.5 to 5 hours from Denver, conditions willing, to entrance to Great Sand Dunes National Park. Alternate route from Sante Fe, NM - a bit longer.
Capturing extraordinary conditions at an extraordinary location. Instructions: Recognize conditions are a go from wherever you're camped or lodged. Hike at least an hour (if you are a strong hiker) before sunrise (temps in the teens - mid March); navigate dunes in faint headlamp glow (watch for the imminent dropoff); find the best dune foreground for composition (usually not the one with the footprints); orient toward sunrise glow as it occurs (wow - who would have thought the color would be there); adjust neutral density filter. Promptly move operation to a better location upon split-second realization that the shot looks better from 100 yards over there. Above all, don't screw up this one-in-a-million-opportunity.