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Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park Photo by Ron Cogswell via Flickr

Recently, I was able to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park. This is a place that I've been wanting to visit for quite some time, so I was extremely happy that I was able to see such a beautiful place that is located right here in the United States.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park has the tallest dunes in all of North America. There are grasslands, water, creeks, forests, and more here for you to see. It is truly beautiful. You can see tall dunes with snowy mountains in the background, which is a beautiful thing to see.

What is there to do at Great Sand Dunes National Park?

The Great Sand Dunes National Park has plenty of activities for you and your family to enjoy. You can:

  • Hike. There are plenty of hiking options here for you and your family.
  • Sled or sand board down the dunes. Many people bring their sleds with them, and this can be a lot of fun.
  • Swim in the creek. I saw many people in their swimsuits when I visited recently.
  • Camp. There is a campsite located in this national park.
  • Have a picnic at Medano Creek.


How much does it cost to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park?

The fee to enter Great Sand Dunes National Park is $3 for each adult. This fee is valid for seven days, so you can come back anytime within those seven days. Children are always free. There is no additional fee or deposit for pets either.

You can also buy a Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Annual Pass if you know that you plan on visiting often over the next year. This cost is $15 and it will allow you and your family members (all in one vehicle) into the national park all for one cost for one full year.

This national park also has entrance free days. The free days left in the year of 2014 are August 25th, September 27th, and November 11th.

Active members of the military are allowed in for free. Look into the America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass for more information on this.

Where do I stay?

If you are wanting to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park, I will be honest and say that you do not have many options for accommodations in the nearby area. However, if you are willing to drive around 30 minutes to one hour, then you will come across many hotels and motels.

There is a camping "village" right outside this national park. This place is called Great Sand Dunes Oasis. Here, there are camping areas, RV areas, showers, laundry, gas, a store, restaurant, and a few cabins. This is located near the entrance of Great Sand Dunes National Park, so you are sure not to miss it.

The last option that you have is to camp directly at Great Sand Dunes National Park. The fee to camp here is $20 per night. This is a popular camping spot though since there are not many other options nearby. Always make sure to arrive early to claim your tent site.


To make your experience more enjoyable, listen here.

Here are my tips when visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park:

  • Dogs are allowed, but they must be leashed. If you have been to other national parks, you will realize that Great Sand Dunes National Park is less strict with their dog rules, as you are allowed to bring your dogs on the actual dunes.
  • If you do bring your dogs, also remember that the sand can get quite hot. You may want to either bring your dog early in the morning or in the evening so that they do not burn their feet. Always check the temperature before you go out.
  • It can get hot here, so make sure to bring enough water.
  • There is a gas station right outside the national park, remember to fill up if you need gas. The next gas station may be far away (depending on the direction that you are heading in), so make sure to fill up if you are nearing empty or even have just a half tank of gas.


Have you ever visited the Great Sand Dunes?


0 # Catherine 2014-07-07 18:39
I had no idea there were sand dunes like these in the US. Strange, cause I just discovered earlier this week that there are similar sand dunes in Europe too, in Gran Canaria. I always imagined placed like this were just in the Middle East and Africa.
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0 # Ally 2014-07-08 00:14
This looks like it would be an awesome place to sand board.
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