“Dunes” barely even begins to describe the mountains of sand within the park’s boundaries. It doesn’t feel like you’re in southern Colorado, it feels like a different country altogether. Take a moment to appreciate the views of the dunes with the epic, snowcapped mountains in the background and the streams in the foreground, and then take your shoes off before wandering through the creek and right up the dunes. It’s exceptionally beautiful at dusk, and the stargazing here is legendary.
“The tallest dunes in North America”
Open 24/7 year round! There are no limitations, timed entries, or reservations to visit. The tallest dunes in North America are the centerpiece in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. Stay on a moonless night to experience countless stars in this International Dark Sky Park!
Really neat! Definitely worth a stop.
I didn't climb to the top of the dunes as I am out of shape and was limited on time, but it sure seems as if it would be worth it.
Also, there's a free dry camping spot on the way to the dunes that I stayed in, right under Sacred White Shell Mountain. Just in case you're into that, GPS coordinates are 37.527, -105.5935.
How is this place not awesome?
There is nothing like it and its a gem located all the way down in south of Colorado.
Drove hours after a flight from Houston and it was worth it. The view was breathtaking.
Great Sand Dunes entrance fee is only $3 per person. Always remember to check the weather and not go during storm/rainy days. Its too risky.
This place is huge and the hiking is a bit difficult. Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and shoes. I was a idiot not to. Oh and get prepared to be sandblasted! I recommend to bring a towel in case there is a wind and you would want to protect yourself from the sand in your eyes or being sand blasted all over your naked legs (If you are wearing shorts). You can even bring a ski mask or sunglasses to protect yourself. Remember to wear sunscreen too!
If you stop by Great Sand Dunes Oasis you can rent out Sandboards or Sandsleds for only $21 (includes tax) and get some breakfast.
I really wish I could of camped out here but my road trip had limited days so I was already set off to my next adventure.
One of the greatest wonders in North America. Bring a sled, a camera, and extra socks. The dunes go on forever, and you can spend hours checking the place out.
Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of the most incredibly surreal experiences one can ever have in the continental United States. Having gone in September 2014, my girlfriend and I made the lengthy trek to the highest dune in the park, some 800 ft. in the air. It is mesmerizing to look ahead and feel as though you're in the Sahara, then turn around and see the footsteps of the Rockies. The trek to the pinnacle is among the most physically demanding things I have ever done, but man was it worth it. The view from the top would take anyone's breath away, overlooking the dunes where the desert meets the mountains. It is an otherworldly opportunity.
The campgrounds are clean, well maintained, and very nice despite having few amenities. There is enough room to feel private, yet spaced close enough to feel safe. I was blown away by my experience at Great Sand Dunes. I cannot wait to return again the first chance I get.
We almost deleted this stop from our trip...so glad we didn't. It turned out to be one of our family's favorite. Our young girls enjoyed splashing in Medeno Creek.
The drive to the dunes was so infuriating. I could see the dunes for over an hour, but it seemed we'd never arrive. Just wasn't used to the West, where you can see such distances. But upon arriving it was truly amazing. I'm not sure if there's another similar place on Earth. Arriving in late May or early June would be best - as this is when the snow is melting in the mountains, and a shallow, wide stream of water rushes through the dunes. The kids played, we picnicked, and they rode the sleds down the dunes. Initially I thought I'd climb the highest dune I could find. I quickly found my endurance wasn't up to the task. Be prepared if you plan to hike. No sandals and lots of water.
We have been to Several National Parks and this is at the top of my list. The Visitor Center closes at 5 PM in the summer which was enough time for us to get our JR Ranger Badges for the kids(they have a 3-5 book which should take no longer than 30 mins) and watch the film (20 mins) before they closed. The actual dunes are open 24/7. There is a small lake right before the actual dunes (it was mostly dried up) but had enough water for the kids (3 & 5) to splash around in. The views are amazing. The wind was a bit strong the further you climbed the dunes but well worth it. We were visiting Denver and it was about a 8hr drive round trip total but Definitely worth visiting.
This was one of the top stops of our vacation to Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. We climbed to the top of the highest peak one morning and arrived just as the sun came over the horizon. We were the only ones there and the views were just amazing. Worth all the effort. We also stayed at the campgrounds which were very well maintained and spaced beautifully.
You won't believe how BIG they are until you are actually there looking at them. Some great little hiking trails near there where you can get a vantage point as well. Worth the trip out of the way!
Definateley a cool place, reason i gave it four not five stars: two reasons. Im a photographer and the dunes are very well traveled in the spots i went to so photos without footprints are gonna require longer hikes which is ok. But the river brings alot of musquitos. Just be advised. No im not that guy who complains about everything. This is a place i would love to camp with friends and relax, not take photos at.
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Great Sand Dunes National Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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Good for bird watching, hiking, and 6 more activities. Has a Design vibe.
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- National park
Campground, Parking, Dining