Family Fun: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Explore the fun family activities at the Great Sand Dunes


There’s no better place to get the kids outside and active than at a National Park. Celebrate National Public Lands Day, and Family Hiking day this Saturday with free admission to every National Park across the country. Specifically, Great Sand Dunes National Park in San Luis Valley, Colorado is a terrific spot for family fun.

Related: 13 of the Best National Parks to Visit on Free Days

The park is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America rising up to about 750 feet. Dunes formed from sand and soil deposits of Rio Grande and from west winds picking up sands from river floodplains, this National Park and Preserve has a fascinating history that the whole family will enjoy exploring.

But beyond its interesting history and incredible views, Great Sand Dunes has become a hot spot for some specific outdoor activities. One major attraction of Great Sand Dunes is sandboarding and sand sledding. Similar to snowboarding, kids and adults of all ages come to the dunes to hop on their boards and slide down the hills. Sandboards and sand sleds are specifically made for the sand. Snow versions will not slide in comparison because the sand versions have specific slick bases.

Another family attraction is the Medano Creek. After sliding down the dunes, splash around in the popular stream at the bottom. Many people bring out their tubes to lay on, skimboards, or small rafts.

There is plenty of camping and lodging available nearby. And be sure to explore further and head out on a hike. Click here for 7 more memorable Great American family hikes.

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