News

Park Ranger on Horseback with Dunes in Background
Park Ranger on Horseback, Dunes in Background

NPS Photo

Missing Park Visitor Located


A search for a visitor missing 5 days ended last night when rescuers successfully located Bryan Skilinski approximately one and a half miles south of the park visitor center. Mr. Skiliniski was found in relatively good health considering he had spent five nights out in the elements with little winter gear. After becoming disoriented during his first day hiking in deep snow, he spent the remaining time trying to find his way back to his vehicle, covering many miles of terrain while exposed to snow storms, high winds and temperatures in the teens at night.

The search and rescue effort was initiated Thursday at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. An unattended vehicle located in the park’s horse trailer parking lot along Medano Road since this past weekend alerted park staff to further investigate the location of the visitor. Further investigation identified the driver of the car as Mr. Bryan Skilinski from New York State. Mr. Skilinski first entered the park the morning of Saturday, February 11.

“We could not have asked for a better outcome and I want to personally thank all of the staff and search and rescue team members who provided their expertise in helping to locate Bryan” said Acting Park Superintendent, Scott Stonum. More than 28 people from multiple agencies and search and rescue groups assisted with the search efforts. National Park Service (NPS), Alamosa County Search and Rescue, El Paso County Search and Rescue, and Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control were engaged in the effort coordinated by NPS staff.

Media inquiries should be directed to Acting Superintendent, Scott Stonum at 719-378-6311.
 
Kathy and Willa celebrate Every Kid in a Park
Great Sand Dunes Park Ranger, Kathy Faz, presents San Luis Valley 4th grader, Willa Seesz-Sanchez with her Every Kid in a Park free access pass.

Great Sand Dunes Welcomes 4th Grade Students through "Every Kid in a Park"

National Program Encourages Families and Classes to Visit National Parks

Great Sand Dunes invites all 4th grade students to visit the park for free as part of the "Every Kid in a Park" program. Fourth grade students can visit www.everykidinapark.gov to complete an activity and obtain a voucher. Bring your voucher to a National Park Service site and exchange it for a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national park units, wildlife refuge areas, and US national forests! View full press release (pdf) >

 
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Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca, CO 81146

Phone:

(719) 378-6395
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