Return to Previous Page

Great Sand Dunes National Park – Preserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park

The Great Sand Dunes National Park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising about 750 feet from the floor of the San Luis Valley. Stop by the visitor center to learn more about this National Park.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Camping at The Great Sand Dunes

There are a few campgrounds in and around the park. Backpackers can obtain permits for overnight camping in the wilderness. Find the campsite that is right for you.

Things To Do at The Great Sand Dunes National Park

Medano Creek Fun

A popular shallow, wide, and spread-out seasonal creek enjoyed by all ages. The sandy banks and riverbeds are inviting and fun to hang out in. The sandy bottom creates surge flow waves, adding to the enjoyment of the creek. It does dry up by July.

Great Sand Dunes Medano Creek

Sandboarding and Sand Sledding

A popular activity at the sand dunes is sandboarding. The park recommends using the right gear and learning basic techniques to have the most fun and prevent injury.

Hiking at Great Sand Dunes

Most of the forests, lakes, and peaks of The Great Sand Dunes National Preserve are designated wilderness areas. There are featured day hikes and overnight backpacking routes; learn more.

Fat Biking

Most of the park is off-limits to mechanized equipment; however, bikes are permitted on Medano Pass Primitive Road for day rides and overnight camping. Get the details.


Fishing is allowed in accordance with State of Colorado regulations in the Medano and Sand Creek Drainages. Find more info here.

4WD Adventure at Great Sand Dunes

Medano Pass Primitive Road is a rough 22-mile road connecting Great Sand Dunes with the Wet Mountain Valley and Colorado State Highway 69. Passable only in the warmer months and only with high clearance 4WD vehicles. The route tops out on Medano Pass and the National Preserve at 10,040’. The terrain is varied; please check current conditions.

Medano Pass Primitive Road 4WD road

Horseback Riding

Private horse owners can access the park so long as they follow the rules and park in designated areas. Guided horseback trips are also available; more info here.

Nature and Science

If you have an interest in nature, this is a fascinating place to learn about the special characteristics that created this preserve. It is also rich with wildlife indigenous to the area.

Free Ranger Programs

Learn more about the environment of the park. Ranger programs are offered mainly in summer and fall; see the schedule.

Experience the Night

Half the park is after dark! With the combination of dry air, no light pollution, and the high-elevation location, the park illuminates an amazing night sky and landscape. In fact, the Great Sand Dunes is certified as an International Dark Sky Park.

History and Culture of the Great Sand Dunes

There are four sacred mountains to the Navajo people located just south of the Great Sand Dunes. The oldest evidence of prehistoric humans dates back about 11,000 years. There is long enduring connection between people and the Great Sand Dunes, including many early explorers and the use of the Old Spanish Trail. Be sure to learn more about the history of the Great Sand Dunes.


Scroll to top