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Great Sand Dunes National Park

Hello, friends! I’m back with another travel guide and today’s focus is the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Mosca, Colorado!

This was supposed to be a quick detour on Kevin’s and my way to Albuquerque, but we ended up staying for a long time. It’s just such a fun, mesmerizing place that you can easily lose track of time. Fun fact: Great Sand Dunes NP has the tallest sand dunes in all North America!

So let’s begin with the specifics: Great Sand Dunes National Park is open every day- all day (excluding the tourist center). The cost is $25 for a standard vehicle, but it is good for 7 consecutive days (which is awesome). Pro tip: If you have the America The Beautiful Pass, don’t forget to bring it for free entry into the park. We forgot ours and had to pay the entrance fee. There is one large parking lot at the entrance and it will lead you on a walk directly to the dunes. There are bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers to rinse off near the parking lot as well. You can hike/leisurely walk the sand dunes, go sandboarding or sledding, or go camping. In the summer you can swim in Medano Creek (if it’s flowing). And, something I really want to do, is camp at their sites and go photograph the stars. Bucket list item!

Some Tips:

  • If it is warm enough I would suggest wearing sports sandals like Chacos or Tevas. If you wear boots or tennis you will get sand inside. It’s inevitable. Kevin’s tip is to bring extra socks if you choose to wear tennis or boots so you have some fresh ones not full of sand.
  • This one seems obvious, but bring enough water for everyone in your party. Even though it was overcast and chilly when we went we quickly ran out of water as we huffed and puffed our way up the dunes.
  • Take your time walking up the dunes. Sit and enjoy the dunes for awhile if you need. They really are marvelous to view.
  • On the way back down, run down the dunes! We had such a blast running down them and couldn’t stop laughing. This is probably why I had so much sand in my boots. Whoops!

Like I mentioned previously, we ended up staying way longer than we intended! We jokingly would say. “What’s behind this dune? Oh wow, more sand!

On the way out of the park we also witnessed our first Pronghorn ever. It was amazing! It definitely startled us as we were driving, but thankfully no one was around so we parked and watched it for a few minutes.

What was supposed to be a quick detour turned into an afternoon of adventure. We finally made it to Albuquerque late in the evening, but excited for the next morning’s adventure: The Balloon Fiesta.

But that, my friends, is a post for another day.

Until next time,

Mary A.

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