Great Sand Dunes National Monument and Preserve
|Sandboard Central: Great Sand Dunes NP, overlooked by the Sangre de Cristo mountains (Ted Stedman)|
11500 Highway 150
Mosca, Colorado 81146
Phone: 719-378-2312, Ext. 11
Great Sand Dunes is open all year. Visitor Center hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed winter holidays) and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in summer. Start your tour at the Visitor Center with an orientation video, exhibits, and books. Rangers offer additional information and assistance to make your visit more enjoyable.
Although sand surface temperatures may reach 140 degrees in summer, daytime air temperatures seldom reach 90 degrees F. Temperatures can change dramatically in a short period of time at this elevation (8,200 feet).
Even in summer, warm layered clothing is recommended, as lows may drop into the 40s. After dark, a warm coat or a blanket are necessities for the summer campfire program. Summer day temperatures average between the 70s and 80s.
Thunder showers are common in July and August and high winds may prevail any time. In fall, winter, and spring, this "Land of Cool Sunshine" has moderate daytime temperatures and freezing to sub-zero nights.
The Pinyon Flats campground is open year-round: first-come, first-served, and self registration. Facilities include picnic tables, fire grates, flush toilets, and drinking water. With 88 sites, the campground fills by noon on summer weekends and by evening during the week. Maximum per site: six. Handicapped sites available.
Group Sites - Three group sites are available for organized camping. Reservations are required. These sites are in great demand; reserve starting January 2. The fee is based on number of people/night. Maximum group size, 50 people, with a minimum of 12.
Backcountry Camping - Wilderness camp in the dunes or at designated primitive backcountry sites. Free backcountry permits are issued at the Visitor Center. Permits are also required for overnight parking in the Monument when camping in adjacent National Forest areas.
Picnicking - The picnic area near the base of the dunes has water, tables, and grills (charcoal fires only). Handicapped site. One group area can be reserved.
Nearby Facilities and Services
Alamosa Chamber of Commerce - 719-589-3681. The town of Alamosa (35 miles southwest) has motels, restaurants, camping, groceries, a hospital, bus station, and airport.
Great Sand Dunes Country Club & Inn - 719-378-2357. (Six miles south of Monument's boundary.) Restaurant, rooms, and golf course. May through October.
Great Sand Dunes Oasis - 719-378-2222. (Located at Monument's boundary.) Gasoline, convenience store, gifts, restaurant, camping, RV hook-ups, and cabins. Guided 4-wheel drive tours. Open April through October.
San Luis Lake State Park has camping and RV hook-ups. Located 13 miles from the Monument. Open summer months.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
from $1895USDfor 6 daysOperated by Timberline Adventures