• Great Sand Dunes and Sangre de Cristo Mountains

    Great Sand Dunes

    National Park & Preserve Colorado

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    Voice Mail at the park is currently out of service. Please call the Visitor Center at 719-378-6395 between 9:00-5:00 MST to reach a staff member.

Schedule Of Events

Ranger Patrick Myers with kids learning about the Great Sand Dunes Circus Beetle

Kids help a ranger demonstrate the unusual adaptations of the Great Sand Dunes Circus Beetle. Visitors get more out of their visit by going on short ranger-led programs!

Cana Myers

Free Ranger Programs

Your visit can be more enjoyable when you better understand the environment around you. Ranger programs are offered most days May through September. View the current schedule of programs!

You may request a special program for a group by calling the Visitor Center at 719-378-6395, or send an email.

 

Other Programs and Annual Events

 
Junior Ranger Day 2007

Hundreds of kids turn out each year for Junior Ranger Day!

NPS Photo

Junior Ranger Day Each summer the park hosts a special day with special activities for kids, including learning about nature, primitive skills, sand sculpturing, crafts and more. Check this page in spring for the 2015 date!

 
Education Specialist with children on a school field trip

Education Specialist with children near the dunes

NPS Photo

K-12 Education Programs are available as staffing permits throughout the year, by reservation only. Hands-on discovery in the dunes, forest, or wetlands are available seasonally, and classroom visits may be available in winter months.
 
Bison in Wetlands

Bison take a drink at Dollar Lake west of the dunes. Over 1000 bison roam on Nature Conservancy lands within the national park.  Bison tours are the primary way to see these majestic animals at Great Sand Dunes.

NPS/Patrick Myers

The Nature Conservancy partners with the National Park Service to protect the entire dunes system and its biodiversity. Bison Tours are offered by Zapata Partners, who manage the herd of over 1000 bison on Nature Conservancy lands within national park boundaries. These are led as a hayride (warmer months only) or 4WD vehicle tour. 4WD vehicle tours are offered anytime as staffing permits, and as long as there is a minimum of 4 people. Hayrides are offered by reservation for larger groups. Please call ahead to confirm times and prices. The Zapata Ranch also offers ranch experience stays and lodging in their historic ranch rooms. Please call 1-888-5-ZAPATA (927282) ext. 110, or click the Bison Tours link above.

 
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.

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Did You Know?

Culturally peeled ponderosa pine

Ute, Apache, and other tribes peeled bark from pine trees for food and medicine. Over 100 of these culturally peeled trees are still living in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. More...