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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 40 Properties near Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes Lodge
Great Sand Dunes Lodge

Great Sand Dunes Lodge

7900 CO-150, Mosca, CO
     
    0.0 out of 5.0

    Situated in Mosca, this lodge is in the same area as Great Sand Dunes National Park, High Dune, and Pinyon Flats Campground. Area attractions also include Zapata Falls and Mosca Pass.

    Welcome to Fairytale Cove, A Mountain Paradise!
    Reviewed on Jun 20, 2018
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    Welcome to Fairytale Cove, A Mountain Paradise!

    Welcome to Fairytale Cove, A Mountain Paradise!

    La Veta, CO
       
      5.0 of 5
      0.0 out of 5.0

      Our family loved the home as much as the location. It was so quiet and peaceful. The balcony was perfect for hot tea and coffee in the mornings and grilling at night.

      2 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Remote Cabin Getaway
      Reviewed on Dec 23, 2018
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      2 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Remote Cabin Getaway

      2 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Remote Cabin Getaway

      Gardner, CO
         
        4.9 of 5
        0.0 out of 5.0

        We came for a weekend and loved it!!! The view from the porch was awesome. The house was warm, comfy and welcoming. It had some Christmas decor which added the perfect touch. The kids loved playing outside and visiting the animals. We would love to come back for another visit.

        Breathtaking Sangre De Cristo View!!!
        Reviewed on Oct 15, 2018
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        Breathtaking Sangre De Cristo View!!!

        Breathtaking Sangre De Cristo View!!!

        Westcliffe, CO
           
          4.8 of 5
          0.0 out of 5.0

          Cozy, well-appointed cabin. Great spot for a quiet get-away . . . spectacular mountain views! Great dark skies on clear nights for star-gazing! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

          Mountain View Motor Inn $91
          Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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          Mountain View Motor Inn

          Mountain View Motor Inn

          411 W US Highway 160 , Fort Garland, CO
             
            4.5 of 5
            2.0 out of 5.0

            The staff was very friendly and a great resource for finding things to do in the area

            Paradise in the Sky
            Reviewed on Nov 6, 2018
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            Paradise in the Sky

            Paradise in the Sky

            Crestone, CO
               
              5.0 of 5
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Spacious home with a beautiful wide stairway to the second level. Viewed the sunrise over the mountains from one deck, sunset from another, and stars at night from every angle. Highly recommended.

              Rodeway Inn $59
              Reviewed on May 13, 2019
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              Rodeway Inn

              Rodeway Inn

              333 Santa Fe Avenue, Alamosa, CO
                 
                2.9 of 5
                2.5 out of 5.0

                Lacy, Abby, and April were excellent, Lacy was patient and really took care of us. Hotel is going through some renovations so the appearance was not Excellent, but the service we received was great! We will stay here again when the time comes! Thank you Lacy, Abby, and April, We greatly appreciated ...

                Sangre de Cristo Mountain Retreat - Crestone
                Sangre de Cristo Mountain Retreat - Crestone

                Sangre de Cristo Mountain Retreat - Crestone

                Moffat, CO
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0