Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Quick Facts

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Colorado

(719) 378-6399

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Nestled in southern Colorado, North America's tallest dunes rise over 750 feet high against the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The wind-shaped dunes glow beneath the rugged backdrop of the mountains. This geologic wonderland, containing over 30 square miles of massive dunes, became a national monument in 1932. With the passage of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Act, resources now also include alpine lakes and tundra, six peaks over 13,000' in elevation, ancient spruce and pine forests, large stands of aspen and cottonwood, grasslands, and wetlands--all habitat for diverse wildlife and plant species.

Because the dunes and surrounding mountains are designated wilderness, this is a great place to enjoy unspoiled natural beauty in a variety of ways. Whether you play in Medano Creek, build a sand castle, slide down the dunes, go birdwatching in wetlands, or ascend a 13,000' peak, you will discover plenty of kinds of outdoor recreation for all ages.

Map of Great Sand Dunes

Latitude, Longitude: 37.725926, -105.518464

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Activities

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Contact the area for information on neighboring attractions and scenic routes.

  • Camping

    Great Sand Dunes offers developed car camping, 4WD backcountry camping, and backpacking. Pinyon Flats is a developed campground containing 88 sites with picnic tables and fire grates. Forty four sites are reservable at. There are no hook-ups, but restrooms include flush toilets and sinks.

  • Climbing

    Climbing is not available.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is not available.

  • Hiking

    Visitors have many options for hiking in the park whether it be hiking in the 30 square mile dune field or through amazing forested trails, grassland s and alpine landscapes. A dune-accessible wheelchair is available for free loan at the Visitor Center. Over 33,000 acres of Great Sand Dunes National Park and most of Great Sand Dunes National Preserve is designated wilderness.

  • Horseback Riding

    Most of the national park and the entire national preserve are open to horse use. For closed areas, please refer to the Map of Areas Closed to Horse Use.

  • Hunting

    Areas of the national preserve are open to hunting, but hunting is not allowed in the national park. Check with park officials for more detailed information.

  • Picnicking

    There are designated picnic areas, including a handicap accessible site.

  • Winter Sports

    When snow does fall on the dunes, sledding, snowboarding or skiing are fantastic, with no trees or rocks as obstacles.

Seasonality/Weather

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. In winter, the visitor center hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except for federal holidays, when the building is closed. In spring and fall, the visitor center is generally open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer visitor center hours, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, are 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Directions

Driving

Great Sand Dunes National Park is located 35 miles northeast of Alamosa, Colorado, reached by U.S. Highway 160 and State Highway 150 from the south, or from State Highway 17 and County Lane 6 from the west.

Flying

Commercial air service is available to a small airport at Alamosa, Colorado. Colorado Springs, Denver, and Albuquerque are served by many commercial airlines. Rental cars are available at all these airports.

Public Transportation

The Alamosa Bus Company , 719-589-3384, has some service to the national park.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(719) 378-6399

Links