The Visitor Guide (pdf, 2 MB) provides the best planning maps and overview of the park and preserve.
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Welcome to Great Sand Dunes!
Exploring Dunes, Grasslands, Forests, Lakes, and Alpine Peaks
Many visitors are surprised at the huge size and diversity of this park, and wish they had planned more time. Plan to experience at least two or three ecosystems during your stay to have the most fulfilling visit. Discover Things to Do and how to experience them. View and print a Map of Permitted Pet Areas.
Spending the Night
Find detailed information on camping and lodging options in and near the park, or link to make reservations at Pñon Flats Campground in the national park. Plan ahead to experience the night at Great Sand Dunes.
Great Sand Dunes is a high elevation park in the Rocky Mountains, ranging from 7515 ft (2308m) to 13,604 ft (4146m). Storms can arise quickly, bringing cold, wet conditions any time of year. Be prepared for a wide variety of conditions during your visit.
Summer high temperatures average 80 F, with lows in the 40s F. However, sand surface temperatures often reach 150 F in the afternoon before thunderstorms develop. In summer, plan your dunes time for early morning or evening to avoid burned feet, heat exhaustion, or lightning strikes. Summer afternoons are a great time to hike or 4WD into mountain areas of the park, as well as splash in nearby Zapata Falls.
Fall conditions are usually excellent, with sunny, calm days in the 60s-70s F and chilly nights.
Winter days are generally sunny and cold with highs in the teens - 20s F. The sand may feel warm in the intense alpine sun, but be prepared for blizzards anytime and subzero temperatures at night.
Spring can mean anything from blizzards to warm swimsuit weather - sometimes in one day! March and April are the two swowiest months in Colorado, but there are also warm days. Spring is the windy season throughout the western United States, and Great Sand Dunes may also be windy during a spring visit. Afternoons are usually the windiest part of the day; plan to hike on the dunes in morning. Late spring usually brings pleasant temperatures along with the peak flow of Medano Creek in late May.
Last updated: October 30, 2018