Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

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

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 Transport: 

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