Great Sand Dunes National Park

Overview

Great Sand Dunes National Park is located in Southern Colorado. It is known for its large dunes and seasonal Medano Creek. It also houses tundra wildlife like trout. This national park is a must-see if you are traveling to southern Colorado. This guide will help you to get around this incredible park. You can also take a tour through the dunes to see the wildlife living in the dunes.

A beautiful choir of sand makes a wonderful humming sound at the Great Sand Dunes. This sound is caused by air being forced through millions upon million of tumbling grains. Storms are the natural cause of avalanches.


Great Sand Dunes is best viewed in spring and summer. The dunes are often covered in winter snow, and the pronghorns and elk can be seen frequently. Severe weather is more common during the summer.


It is a good idea to plan your trip in advance if you're planning to visit this beautiful National Park in Southern Colorado. The park is remote and high up, so you will have great views of the night sky. This park was even designated an International Dark Sky Park in 2019

The visitor center offers information about the dunes' formation and a chance to chat with park rangers. You can take your whole family to the dunes for sand-sled rides or hikes. You can also arrange a 4WD tour, and visit the visitor centre to learn more. There are summer programs and hiking opportunities at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Great Sand Dunes National Park makes a great place for a family vacation or romantic getaway. The vast expanses of sand dunes can be enjoyed by day, and you can star-gaze at night. You can snowshoe into the mountains and wetlands during the winter months. You won't regret making the trip to this area, which is home to mountain lions and elk.


The park contains some of North America's tallest dunes, but it is best to explore the dunes at night. The park's highest dune is 230m high. You will have an amazing experience hiking to the dunes. However, it is best to bring a jacket to keep warm in the evening. Get the vistor guide PDF here.

Short Video

Lodging

There is no lodging within Great Sand Dunes National Monument. Motels and other accommodations are available in Alamosa, 35 miles southwest. There are also a few small motels in Mosca, Crestone, and Fort Garland, they are not available for online reservations.

Campgrounds

Pinyon Flats Campground

Located in the Monument, Pinyon Flats Campground is open year round.

  • 88 campsites on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Facilities include: Picnic tables, fire grates, drinking water, rest rooms with running water and electricity; handicap sites are available.
  • Campground can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs (space limit is 30-35 feet, maximum).
  • Open wood fires ARE permitted as long as they're in the grates provided in each campsite. Wood gathering prohibited. Fire wood can be purchased in the visitor center,
  • Sites usually fill by noon on summer weekends and by evening during the week.
  • Limit is 6 people per site.

Great Sand Dunes Oasis

Located 4 miles from the Visitor Center at the Monument's boundary, facilities are open April 1 - through October 31 with limited hours in April and October. For information call 719-378-2222 .

  • 130 tent sites , 20 RV sites , 6 group sites , 2 camping cabins, 2 teepees .
  • Reservations can be made for RV and group camping, cabins, teepees and tours.

Mosca Campground

Located in the San Luis Lakes State Park, 13 miles from the the Monument on County 6-Mile Lane, east of Colorado Hwy 17, facilities are closed during winter months. For information call 719-378-2020.

  • 51 camp sites with view of the San Juan, Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Great Sand Dunes.
  • Facilities include: electrical hook-ups, sheltered tables, fire grates, drinking water, bathhouse with modern restrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities.
  • No sewer hook-ups, but a dump station is available for RVs.

Backcountry Camping

Designated Sites or Camping at Large in Dune Wilderness

  • Primitive tent camping only, no facilities
  • Accessible by foot
  • Permits required for overnight parking while camping
  • Back country permit required
  • Open campfires prohibited
  • Party size limited to 6 people
  • Handicap site along Medano Pass Primitive Road - paved access road, fire grate and outdoor privy

Climate/Maps | Description | Activities

 

 
Related DesertUSA Pages

 

Share this page on Facebook:


DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)

The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms

SEARCH THIS SITE
FREE DESERTUSA NEWSLETTER

Enter Email:


Shop desert store

 

Catnip






 
 
 
Copyright © 1996- DesertUSA.com and Digital West Media, Inc. - -