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Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Landscapes collide with mesmerizing effect as rugged mountains and some of the largest sand dunes in North America converge.

Climb to the top of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve’s slopes of fine sand. Slide back down at exhilarating speeds. Navigate rocky trails and float along pristine waters of a gentle stream.

See 30 square miles (48 square kilometers) of deep sands sandwiched between snow-dusted mountain ranges and a micro-desert. Dunes continually rise and fall as streams carry sediment down western mountains. Prevailing winds blow sand from dried river beds against the foothills to the east to pack into dunes. 

Climb the giant sand piles anywhere in the park. Borrow a dunes-accessible wheelchair if needed. At 700 feet (213 meters), the highest dunes require a strenuous climb and provide views well worth the effort. Looking east, the snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains appear to loom just beyond the sand. In the opposite direction, impressive peaks of the more distant San Juan Mountains soar skyward.

Before you arrive, rent sleds or sand-boards from San Luis Valley stores. Take photos from the top of the dunes and make a video as you take the exciting ride to the bottom. Hike at night on the dunes during a full moon and camp in this unique setting under a clear, dark sky.

Follow your desert expedition with a refreshing dip in Medano Creek during springtime snowmelt. This pristine waterway appears out of place in the sands, but is an ideal place to swim or float along the gentle current on an inflatable toy. 

Walk beneath thick pines lining the Montville Nature Trail. For a rigorous hike, climb Mount Herard past several alpine lakes and look down at the dunes from the 13,297-foot (4,053-meter) peak. 

Great Sand Dunes National Park is in southern Colorado, a 4-hour drive south of Denver and similar distance north of Albuquerque. Pay a small entrance fee. The park is open year-round although the sand gets scorching hot on summer days. 

Make U.S. national parks your choice for affordable adventure for all types of travelers. Slip and slide in the sand just like a child on your trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.


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Lodging Near Great Sand Dunes National Park

See all 18 Hotels near Great Sand Dunes National Park
Breathtaking Sangre De Cristo View!!!

Breathtaking Sangre De Cristo View!!!

1001 Beech Blvd, Westcliffe
4.7
of 5, from 12 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Westcliffe, this property is 11.5 mi (18.5 km) from Hermit Park and within 20 mi (32 km) of Silver Cliff Museum and The Historic Beckwith Ranch.

$78
Mountain View Motor Inn

Mountain View Motor Inn

411 W US Highway 160 , Fort Garland
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Fort Garland, this hotel is within 25 mi (40 km) of Shrine of the Stations of the Cross, Zapata Falls, and San Luis Valley Museum. Rio Grande Scenic Railroad and Little Medano Creek are also within 32 mi (52 km).

$58
Days Inn Alamosa CO

Days Inn Alamosa CO

223 Santa Fe Avenue, Alamosa
3.7
of 5, from 425 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Alamosa, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of San Luis Valley Museum and Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. Little Medano Creek and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$62
Best Western Alamosa Inn

Best Western Alamosa Inn

2005 Main Street, Alamosa
3.9
of 5, from 305 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Alamosa, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Adams State University and Little Medano Creek. Rio Grande Scenic Railroad and San Luis Valley Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$85
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alamosa

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alamosa

3418 Mariposa, Alamosa
4.5
of 5, from 423 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Alamosa, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Adams State University, Little Medano Creek, and Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. San Luis Valley Museum is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.

$39
Rodeway Inn

Rodeway Inn

333 Santa Fe Avenue, Alamosa
2.9
of 5, from 476 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Alamosa hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of San Luis Valley Museum, Little Medano Creek, and Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. Adams State University and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$54
Super 8 Alamosa

Super 8 Alamosa

2505 West Main, Alamosa
3.9
of 5, from 490 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Alamosa, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Adams State University, Little Medano Creek, and Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. San Luis Valley Museum and Alamosa Recreation Center are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$49
Riverside Inn

Riverside Inn

250 Broadway Avenue, Alamosa
3.6
of 5, from 66 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Alamosa, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of San Luis Valley Museum and Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. Little Medano Creek and Adams State University are also within 2 mi (3 km).