One Colorado creek is so cool that it broke the definition of beach and made a national list of best beaches in America.

Recently, Travel and Leisure composed a list of the top 25 beaches in the U.S., and Colorado's Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park surprisingly made the list.

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What is the Definition of a Beach?

If you asked me, I would say that Colorado has absolutely zero beaches due to the fact that it is a landlocked state. I always thought that the definition of a beach is a sandy area that is located next to the ocean.

My definition actually isn't far off as Oxford languages defines a beach as, "a pebbly or sandy shore, especially by the ocean between high- and low-water marks."

Going even further Merriam-Webster defines a beach as, "a seashore area."

What Is Medano Creek in Colorado?

Despite not fitting into the formal definition of a beach, Medano Creek ranked #13 on the list of the top 25 beaches in the U.S.

What's even more mind-blowing about making this list, is that Medano Creek is actually only available to enjoy for a very short season. Why?

Well, the water that creates the Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park is actually just a runoff of melted snow from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Visiting Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park

Each spring, once the weather starts to warm up, Medano Creek is born again. Come August and September, however, the creek disappears.

The National Park Service recommends visiting Medano Creek in late May and early June during the weekdays. On the weekends during May and June, you'll find Medano Creek to be extremely crowded with visitors.

Also during the second week of June, mosquitos start to emerge, making splash time a lot less fun. If you're looking to check the flow of Medano Creek for a specific date, click here.

Common activities at Medano creek include surfing, splashing, wading, and if the water is deep enough, floating!

Been to Colorado's Sand Dunes? Here's More Dunes to Visit Across the Country

Pur your feet in the sand at these beautiful dunes throughout North America.

LOOK: See America's 50 Best Beach Towns

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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