Great Sand Dune National Park is an adventure not to be missed for anyone in Colorado. It is hard to describe how stunning the landscape is. The dunes span 30 square miles and you can hike wherever you want on them, making it easy to get away from crowds and find your own little slice of beauty to enjoy.
The dunes are quite an experience, and you may be asking what to bring to have the best time.
•Water. Bring way more water than you think you will need. The dunes are hot and it is easy to become dehydrated.
•Sunscreen. With no shade on the dunes you will want to bring lots of sunscreen!
•Layers. Especially if you are planning on staying past sunset. It can get chilly pretty quick once the sun goes down.
•Sunglasses. It is bright out there!
•A hat. More welcome protection from the sun.
•A Camera. The dunes are a fantastic place to practice your photography.
In early summer Medano creek runs on front of the dunes, offering a great place to swim and cool off. Hiking to high dune, the highest dune on the front ridge at 699 ft is a challenge, but super rewarding as you are treated to a sweeping view of miles and miles of dunes in the park. Average round trip hiking time to get to High Dune from the parking lot is about 2 and a half hours. But, climbing dunes is not easy and is a real workout! Allow up to 4 hours if you plan on taking breaks and are not super acclimated to the altitude.
The walk from the parking lot to the dunes will have a lot of people and can feel like a crazy beach! You will see a lot of people sand sledding and snowboarding. Sand boards can be rented from nearby retailers, check HERE for more information.
It gets quite windy on the dunes, so be prepared to find a lot of sand on your body. There is a wash-off station in front of the dunes parking lot.
This is a fantastic adventure to bring the whole family. The stunning landscape and plethora of activities make it a perfect weekend get-away! Stay and watch the colorful Colorado sunset and catch the expansive starry night sky.
Bring your camera, maybe a couple beers, a blanket or some lightweight chairs, and your significant other. Climb the highest dune in the evening and be treated to an unforgettable Colorado sunset in a magical place!
This is a great place to bring anyone of all ages. Kids will love playing in the biggest sandbox they've ever seen! Your dog will love running through the sand with you. Just be aware during the day the sand can reach up to 150 degrees which can burn your dog's paws. You can walk as little or as far as you want on the dunes, and they are still gorgeous from right outside the car.
The dunes cover over 30 square miles and you can easily find your own slice of peace within them. They are a great place to relax and meditate. Dispersed camping is allowed in the park, just stop in the visitors center to grab a permit. Hike out to the middle of the park, pitch a tent and enjoy the incredible star filled sky! Pinon Flats Campground is another option in the park if you are looking for camping with more amenities.
Being a National Park, you will need to have a pass to enter. You can purchase passes online before the visit HERE. The parking lots are large but being a popular National Park, they do fill up quickly especially on weekends.