"The fundamental purpose of parks and reservations...is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."
- from the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916
The National Park Service has a dual mission: to conserve scenic, natural and cultural resources to leave them "unimpaired" for future generations, while providing for the enjoyment of people today. These two often seem to be in conflict, but the bottom line is that the NPS is responsible to provide for the enjoyment of parks, while never allowing that enjoyment to impair resources or the safety and enjoyment of other visitors. Futher, the dunefield and most of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are federally designated wilderness areas. The policies below are made in accordance with the NPS Organic Act and Wilderness Act.
Marijuana on Federal Lands
With the legalization of marijuana in the State of Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve would like to provide clarification regarding the use of possession of marijuana on federal lands. The recently passed Colorado State law, which allows for limited recreational marijuana use under certain conditions, has no bearing on federal laws which continue to identify marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug, and prohibit its use.
Collecting antlers is not allowed anywhere within Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
Unmmanned Aircraft Policy
Unmanned aircraft (drones, etc.) are not permitted in National Park Service units. Learn more about this policy.
As of February 22, 2010, a federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park. It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit Colorado's state website.
Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances. The following federal facilities at Great Sand Dunes are prohibited areas: Visitor Center, Headquarters Building, and all other administrative and maintenance buildings.
Hunting is allowed in season in Great Sand Dunes National Preserve, but is not permitted in Great Sand Dunes National Park. Refer to the Great Sand Dunes National Park Compendium of Regulations above.
Hang Glider/Paraglider Policy
For the safety of all visitors, the launching or landing of hang gliders and paragliders is not permitted within the boundaries of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
Last updated: July 16, 2020