Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Southern Colorado


If you are looking for some fun outdoor activities in the area of Southern Colorado, then you should consider visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This park is located within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and is known for its vast dunes. It also contains a small seasonal river called Medano Creek.

Horseback riding

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado is home to the tallest dunes in North America. It also includes forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. Visitors can explore the park through hiking, biking, camping, and horseback riding.

The park is open year-round. There are developed campgrounds in the garden and several backcountry camping areas. Horseback riding is permitted in the national preserve, but some park areas are unsuitable.

Guided horseback rides are available from mid-March through late November. Trips range from 45 minutes to a full day. Riding fees are $30 per hour.

Those who don’t want to ride can stay at the park’s motels in nearby Colorado City. Motels outside the park’s boundary also offer to lodge.


If you’re looking for a challenging activity, dune climbing may be the answer. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s also an excellent way to see the surrounding mountains.

The best time to visit the Great Sand Dunes is in the summer. It’s not as hot as you might think, and you can hike the dunes while it’s still daylight.

However, if you’re in the area during winter, dune climbing can be a great way to spend your day. While you’re out there, you can check out the infamous Antidunes, an underwater dam that creates a wake. These wakes can be as high as one foot.

You might catch a glimpse of a pronghorn or elk during the quiet season. In the fall, you might have the opportunity to watch the sunset at Pinon Flats Campground. You could even stay overnight in the park if you’re feeling adventurous.


Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a must if you are looking for a unique, scenic, and fun place to stargaze. With its high elevation, low light pollution, and unique landscape, it’s no wonder it’s one of Colorado’s best places to view the night sky.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve have a lot to offer visitors of all ages. In addition to its night sky views, it’s home to various other wildlife. You’ll find all kinds of creatures, from kangaroo rats to bighorn sheep.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and the surrounding area are also home to many owl species. There are nine different types of owls.

The National Park Service holds night sky programs every few weeks to give visitors information about the night sky. You can see hundreds of stars and meteorites from here.


Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is one of Colorado’s most unique and intriguing spots. It is home to various natural features, including vast grasslands and shrublands. The park is famous for hiking, biking, sledding, and horseback riding.

If you’re planning a trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, you’ll be glad to know there are several campgrounds to choose from. This is particularly true for those wanting to camp within the park’s boundaries.

The San Luis State Wildlife Area is one of the best places to camp at the park. This area is open to those with a valid state wildlife permit. Camping in this area is free.

Another great spot to visit is the Oasis Campground. This campground has a lot of shade trees and provides full hookups and a laundry facility. This campground has an incredible view of the dunes.

Alpine tundra

The Alpine tundra is a delicate and fragile ecosystem. At over 11,000 feet, trees can no longer survive. Instead, lichen-covered rock shards cover the landscape. However, some animals, like marmots and pikas, thrive in this habitat.

The area is also home to numerous flowering species. In the spring, iridescent caterpillars cling to rabbitbrush shrubs. They transform into green-striped rabbitbrush beetles during summer.

When wildlife is less active during the quiet season, elk can often be seen. Other mammals that live on the tundra include bighorn sheep. A popular hike on public lands is to hike to Zapata Falls, where you can catch a stunning waterfall.

Other plants in the park include Rocky Mountain juniper, Douglas fir, and pinyon pine. Several animal species live in the area, including burrowing owls, bald eagles, white-tailed ptarmigans, pronghorns, and American pikas.

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