Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Location: San Luis Valley, Colorado
Features: Sandboarding, sandsledding, 4WD tour, horse-back ridding
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a unique American national park of sand dunes towering up to 229 m tall. The park is located on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, in south-central Colorado. Visit the country’s tallest sand dune in this park. It is part of the area of the 30 sq mi. Sediments blown by the southwest winds over thousands of years filled the valleys and formed the dunes. Medano Creek is a great spot for sandsledding, horseback riding, 4wd tours. Get there by driving until 22 miles on the Medano Pass from the park’s main road. You will then cross this wide and shallow creek on your way to see the dunes.
One trail you can hike in is the Sand Ramp Trail with it’s 7 designated sites. There another path for hiking in the Dunes Backcountry with 20 non-designated sites. More adventures awaits in some peaks that you can climb that range from 13,00 to 14,000 like the Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak, Cleveland Peak and Mount Herard. And of course, don’t forget to hike to Star Dune. North America’s tallest dune at 750 feet from base to summit. It’ll take you an average of 6 to 9 hours travel going there. If you want to stay longer, the nearest option to camp in is Piñon Flats Campground. There are 44 sites available for visitors and even advanced reservations.
Top 3 Adventure Hacks
1) Join activities
You can attend various events from May through September like the Summer Concert Series and Junior Ranger Day programs.
2) Hunting rules
Hunting can be done within the preserves in the autumn, but not allowed within national park boundaries at any time.