Great Sand Dunes is continually working to improve access so that everyone can experience this unique landscape. If you have special needs or particular questions, please contact a staff member at the visitor center at (719) 378-6399, or email us.
Access to the Dunes: The closest parking to the dunefield is the Dunes Parking Lot, located 1/2 mile north of the Visitor Center. There is an accessible mat from the dunes parking area for wheelchair access to the edge of the Medano Creek and the sand. There is also an accessible viewing platform just above the creekbed. However, beyond the edge of the dunes, loose sand and the creek make access into the dunefield itself nearly impossible for those with traditional thin-wheeled chairs. A sand wheel chair (see above photo) may be borrowed at the Visitor Center.
Visitor Center: Open daily, the building and rest rooms are fully accessible. A 20 minute (captioned) introductory film is shown every half hour during the summer months and on request during the winter months.
Camping at Pinyon Flats Campground: Accessible campsites are available on a first-come, first served basis at the Pinyon Flats Campground. Facilities include easy access to accessible rest rooms, hardened trail surfaces, picnic tables and fire rings. Two accessible sites are held for disabled campers until 6 p.m. Contact the camp hosts in site #8 for assistance.
Sawmill Canyon Backcountry Campsite is accessible and available in person or by reservation. Located 0.7 miles north on the Medano Pass Primitive Road, the two car parking area and camp can accommodate up to four wheelchairs. The hardened trail to the campsite is 0.1 mile long, and has a maximum grade of 6%. Facilities include an elevated tent pad, picnic table, fire grate, firewood and food storage containers, and an open air pit toilet. Call (719) 378-6399 for information or reservations.
Picnicking at the Dunes Picnic Area: There is one accessible site with a hardened trail to a nearby accessible rest room. The site is shaded and close to Mosca Creek.
Interpretive Programs: Most programs are accessible. For nature walks into the sand, you may check out a dunes wheelchair. Check with park staff for other offerings that may be accessible. Nightly evening programs are offered in the amphitheater from late May through early September. A paved, lighted, and mostly level trail leads from the campground to the amphitheater. Porch talks are offered at the Visitor Center during the day.
Did You Know?
The 750' dunes look small from the alpine summit of 13,297' Mt. Herard, part of Great Sand Dunes National Preserve. More...