Field Trips

Planning Your Field Trip to Great Sand Dunes

There are countless possibilities for study at the Great Sand Dunes. Themes surrounding geology, ecology, and history are the most commonly explored. However, a creative teacher can turn the park into an outstanding classroom for civics, mathematics, engineering, creative writing, art or any number of topics.

You may search for lesson plans from our curriculum materials to organize a self-guided trip or arrange a ranger-guided program.

Consult the field trip guidelines for chaperones and teachers.

Ranger-Guided Programs

Our field trip season for 2015 will begin April 21st and end on May 21st. We will offer ranger-guided field trips Tuesday through Thursday from 9am to 1pm. A ranger-guided option is not a guarantee, and advanced registration is needed to ensure staffing is available. Please call months in advance; the park will receive requests up to two weeks in advance.

Call 719-378-6341 or send an email to request a ranger-guided program.

Educational Entrance Fee Waiver

Groups with an accredited school that are visiting the park for primarily educational purposes may apply to the park superintendent for an entrance fee waiver. You must include formal educational content during your field trip in order receive a waiver. Download and fill out the Educational Entrance Fee Waiver Form (.pdf file, 78KB). Form must be received at least two weeks prior to your visit. Complete the form and fax to 719-378-6310 or mail to: Fee Supervisor, Great Sand Dunes NPP, 11500 Hwy. 150, Mosca, CO 81146.

Questions about fee waivers may be directed to: Fee Supervisor, (719) 378-6352, or send an email.

Transportation Funds

Accredited schools from the local San Luis Valley coming to the Great Sand Dunes for primarily educational purposes are eligible to apply for transportation funds through the Environmental and Conservation Education Council.

Wheels to the Field funds can be used to reimburse mileage and driver expenses for field trips that meet the criteria listed on the application form.


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  • Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

    Ancient Animals

    This is Great Sand Dunes?

    As environmental conditions change, so does the community of life adapted to those conditions.

    Field Trip Program
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
    Anthropology, Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Climate Change, Ecology, Landscapes, Paleontology
    National/State Standards:
    Colorado Science
    4th Grade: 2.2, 2.3
    5th Grade: 2.1, 3.1
    6th Grade: 2.1, 3.3
    7th Grade: 2.1, 2.5
    8th Grade: 3.2
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

    Creepy Crawly Habitat

    Giant Sand Treader Camel Cricket

    Explore the four elements of habitat (food, water, shelter, and space) through the eyes of Great Sand Dunes endemic insects.

    Field Trip Program
    Grade level:
    Kindergarten-Third Grade
    Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Ecology, Wildlife Biology
    National/State Standards:
    Colorado Science:
    K: 2.1
    1st grade: 2.2
    2nd grade: 2.1, 2.2
    3rd grade: 2.1
    endemic insects, habitat, ecosystem, tiger beetle
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

    What's Great About Great Sand Dunes

    Kids explode like a supervolcano!

    Great for all ages as an introduction and kickoff to a wonderful visit to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.  Age-appropriate and activity-based!

    Field Trip Program
    Grade level:
    Kindergarten-Eighth Grade
    American Indian History and Culture, Archaeology, Biodiversity, Conservation, Earth Science, Ecology, Geography, Geology, Hydrology, Wilderness
    National/State Standards:
    Most Earth Science, Life Science, and Social Studies.  Adaptable to many!