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Totaling 85,000 acres, the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is home to the tallest sand dunes on the continent, and plenty more to see and do in southern Colorado.
Established in 2004 as a National Park & Preserve, the former Great Sand Dunes National Monument conserves some incredible landscape in southern Colorado.
Welcoming over 250,000 annual visitors, the park is known for its 750-foot sand dunes back-dropped by Mount Herard– making an awesome juxtaposition for nature and amateur photographers alike. The park also preserves grasslands, wetlands, forests, lakes, and tundra in the San Luis Valley.
The parklands are open daily throughout the year, while the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center hold varying hours depending on the season.
Head to the center first for park maps, a bookstore, and a cancellation station. The GSDPP Visitor Center also features a 20-minute orientation film, flora and fauna exhibits, and a back porch for relaxing and a great view of the dunes.
Visitors to Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve can look forward to hiking, horseback riding, swimming, star gazing, and – wait for it – sandboarding and sledding.
Businesses surrounding the park rent visitors sand boards and sand sleds, which you can take straight to the highest sand dunes in North America. Grab the sunscreen, wax up your board, and get ready for the time of your life. Catch some air while practicing on some bunny hills, or head straight for the major dunes and hang on!
Visitors can also swim, float, and skimboard in Medano Creek, or head down Medano Pass Primitive Road by off-road vehicle or “fat bikes” – mountain bikes with wide tires to keep things sand-friendly.
Hikers can explore the dunes by foot, or take to forested trails like Montville Nature Trail, Mosca Pass Trail, and the Lower Sand Creek Lake loop.