• Great Sand Dunes and Sangre de Cristo Mountains

    Great Sand Dunes

    National Park & Preserve Colorado

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Great Sand Dunes Partners

Friends of the Dunes sponsored archeology

Friends of the Dunes have sponsored archeological research and field work since 1989, including research on the culturally peeled trees in the park.

NPS Photo

Friends of the Dunes

Friends of the Dunes, Inc. was founded in 1989 to provide a forum for citizen involvement at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The Friends have sponsored many events, symposiums, and research projects at the park.

 
Colorado Field Institute program

Colorado Field Institute sponsors in-depth programs on the natural and cultural resources of the San Luis Valley.

Photo by Erich Schwiesow, courtesy Colorado Field Institute

Colorado Field Institute is a Colorado non-profit organization whose purpose is "To expand stewardship of the natural and cultural resources of the San Luis Valley while increasing sustainable economic development in the region." CFI-sponsored programs are primarily in-depth, outdoor activities developed to complement the programs of cultural and natural resource management agencies, including Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Please click on the link above for information on CFI's current schedule of programs.
 
Blanca Peak

14,037' Little Bear Peak (left) and 14,345' Blanca Peak (center) are two of the high peaks in the Sangre de Cristo Range near Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

NPS Photo by Patrick Myers

US Forest Service

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve are surrounded on the north, south, and east by lands managed by the US Forest Service, including the Rio Grande National Forest (west side of the Sangre de Cristos) and the San Isabel National Forest (east side of the Sangre de Cristos). Eight 14,000' peaks and many other peaks, valleys, alpine lakes and streams are found within these two national forests of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

 
Zapata Falls

NPS Photo

Bureau of Land Management

The BLM manages lands near the park, including popular Zapata Falls and Blanca Wetlands.

 
San Luis Lake

San Luis Lake (pictured) and San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area are located at the western edge of Great Sand Dunes National Park.

NPS Photo

Colorado State Parks

San Luis Lake State Park features a large natural lake now maintained at year-round levels through a canal system. San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area protects a wetland complex adjacent to Great Sand Dunes National Park. San Luis Lakes are part of the Great Sand Dunes' wetland system called the sabkha.

 
Alamosa NWR

Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is one of three national refuges in the San Luis Valley.

NPS Photo by Scott Hansen

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Because of its many wetlands and strategic location for many unusual migratory birds, the San Luis Valley is home to three national wildlife refuges. Two are currently open to the public. The third, Baca National Wildlife Refuge, is not open to the public at this time; management planning is scheduled in coming years. Baca NWR was created in 2004 as part of the expansion of Great Sand Dunes National Monument into a national park and preserve, protecting the entire natural hydrological system of the Great Sand Dunes.

Alamosa NWR is located a few miles southeast of Alamosa, Colorado. It features wetlands along the Rio Grande River.

Monte Vista NWR is south of Monte Vista, Colorado. This refuge contains many restored or enhanced wetlands associated with agricultural lands. It is one of the hotspots in the valley to view thousands of sandhill cranes each spring and fall.

 
Fort Garland

NPS Photo by Patrick Myers

Fort Garland

Fort Garland's history is intertwined to some extent with that of Great Sand Dunes. Each year both work together to host Old Stories, New Voices, connecting inner city and minority youth to their natural and cultural heritages. Browse the Colorado Historical Society's web pages on Fort Garland.

 
Parade in San Luis Valley

Alamosa and Saguache Counties feature many museums, cultural events, galleries, and cuisine that reflect the rich heritage of the American West.

NPS Photo

Alamosa County and Saguache County

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is situated in Saguache County and Alamosa County. The closest town to the park and its mailing address is Mosca, Colorado.

 
Los Caminos Byway Collage

Photo collage courtesy of Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway

Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway

Part of the national system of scenic and historic byways, Los Caminos Antiguos gives the traveler a taste of the diverse cultural and natural resources of the San Luis Valley. From historic adobe churches in the southern part of the valley to an organic quinoa farm near Mosca, the valley's rich heritage comes to life.

 
Bison at Dollar Lake

NPS Photo

The Nature Conservancy manages the Medano-Zapata Ranches in and adjacent to the national park. Within the national park, the Conservancy manages a herd of over 1500 bison.

Did You Know?

Great Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle

Great Sand Dunes is home to at least six endemic insect species - found nowhere else on earth. The Great Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle is the best known of these endemics. More...