• Great Sand Dunes and Sangre de Cristo Mountains

    Great Sand Dunes

    National Park & Preserve Colorado

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  • Pinon Flats Campground Closed for Winter Nov 1 - Mar 31

    Pinon Flats Campground, within Great Sand Dunes National Park, is closed for the winter season from November 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015. More »


Special Use Permits are required to hold events including weddings or commercial filming. Research Permits are required to conduct scientific research or surveys. On this page you will find information to determine the type of permit you need, as well as links to required forms.

Backpacking Permit Information is on the Hiking and Backpacking page.

Wedding at Great Sand Dunes

Weddings and other events take place each year in the national park.  Please apply for a Special Use Permit for your event or for commercial filming.

NPS Photo

Special Use Permits must be acquired before holding any event (such as a wedding) or for commercial filming in the national park or preserve. For questions or for more information, email or call the Chief Ranger at 719-378-6321.

Please download the appropriate application below (General Special Use Permit Application or Commercial Filming Permit Application), complete all sections, and mail with any required fees to:

Chief Ranger
Great Sand Dunes NPP
11999 Hwy. 150
Mosca, Colorado 81146
Attn: Special Use Permits

General Special Use Permit Application (for weddings and other special events; .doc file, 31KB)


There are a number of locations that may be used for weddings, including locations along the edge of the dunes, the picnic areas, and the Amphitheater. View images of potential wedding locations:

Amphitheater View #1 (2013 photo)

Amphitheater View #2, Wide Angle View (2013 photo)

Amphitheater at Night (2013 photo)

Edge of Dunes (2009 wedding photo at Castle Creek Picnic Area, 4WD access along Medano Pass Primitive Road).
Weddings may take place outside the wilderness boundary of the dunefield, on the close side of Medano Creek,
as long as they do not hinder other visitors' enjoyment of the park.

North Ramada Picnic Area View #1
(first-come, first-served group picnic site)

North Ramada Picnic Area View #2
(first-come, first-served group picnic site)

South Ramada Picnic Area View #1
(reservation-only group picnic site)

South Ramada Picnic Area View #2
(reservation-only group picnic site)

Commercial Filming

Please read the Guidelines for Commercial Filming (.pdf file, 60KB). Please note that commercial filming, except for certain educational purposes, is not permitted within designated wilderness areas, including the main dunefield of Great Sand Dunes. The main dunefield may be used as a backdrop. Some commercial filmers use the Escape Dunes area, near the main dunefield, for commercial filming. These small dunes provide a dune foreground, while the main dunefield is highly visible behind them. See these photos of the Escape Dunes:

Escape Dunes #1
Escape Dunes #2
Escape Dunes #3
Escape Dunes #4

Commercial Filming Permit Application (.doc file, 57 kb)

Amphibian researcher explores the wetlands of Great Sand Dunes

A researcher explores the wetlands of Great Sand Dunes as part of an an amphibian survey of the park.

NPS/Fred Bunch

Permits for Research

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve encourages scientific research by academic, agency, and independent research scientists.

Priority for a research permit is given to research proposals that focus on those resources that are most pertinent to the Great Sand Dunes system: hydrology, geology, archeology (historic and prehistoric), and biological elements that are endemic to Great Sand Dunes, or elements whose natural histories are strongly influenced by the sand dunes system.

How to Obtain a Research and Collection Permit for Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Please read the complete Guidelines for Obtaining a Research and Collection Permit (pdf file, 120kb, updated November 2013).

Did You Know?

Children rafting Medano Creek

In average to wet years, Medano Creek is a popular beach environment at Great Sand Dunes. When creek flow is high, some children even raft the shallow waters. More...