Great Sand Dunes
National Park & Preserve Colorado


2020 Calendar of Events

More events will be added as they are confirmed!
College Girl remotely operating a sand robotic rover
Numerous groups compete with their own sand rovers while learning about the technology of NASA's Mars Rovers.

NPS/Patrick Myers

Saturday, April 11, 8:00am-10:30am

Sand Robotics Challenge, Sponsored by NASA and Adams State University

Great Sand Dunes are very similar to the dunes on planet Mars, where NASA rovers explore and do scientific research. Each spring, NASA and Adams State University sponsor a sand robotics challenge, where college student teams and the general public can compete with their own homemade rovers and learn about the technology of Mars rovers! The competition takes place in the Medano Creekbed, outside the designated wilderness area of the dunefield. Learn more on the Colorado Space Consortium's website. Free entrance to the park this day!

Two free ranger program related to the event will take place at the visitor center:

11am-Noon: The Dunes to the Moon and Beyond. The extreme environment and dark night skies of Great Sand Dunes provide an astonishing, otherworldly window into our solar system and universe, including dunes on other planets. Touch a real piece of the moon and Mars!

1:30pm-2:30pm: Parks & Planets: How NASA Research in the National Parks Aids Space Exploration. The ranger will discuss dune and wind research at Great Sand Dunes and the findings on Mars, as well as show research being done in other National Parks by NASA.
Amphitheater at Night During Ranger Program
Summer evening ranger programs are popular for all ages!

NPS/Graham Oden

Friday, May 8 - October 30

Summer Ranger Programs

Evening programs will be offered on most weekends in the summer at the outdoor amphitheater. Afternoon programs on weekends and some weekdays will allow visitors to learn more about the unique resources of Great Sand Dunes. View the current ranger program schedule.
View of Visitor Center with Mountains in Background
Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center

NPS/Patrick Myers

Friday, May 22 - Monday, September 7

Extended Visitor Center Hours

Great Sand Dunes will offer extended visitor center hours starting Friday, May 22 through Labor Day weekend. The visitor center will be open daily from 8:30am to 5pm.
Kids Jumping with Ranger
Kids do the kangaroo rat jumping race on Junior Ranger Day!

NPS/Patrick Myers

Saturday, August 1, 9 am – 1 pm

Junior Ranger Day

Junior Ranger Day is a fun opportunity for kids of all ages to participate in exploratory learning activities and games. Participants will have the opportunity to earn prizes after completing a variety of activities. This event is made possible with generous support from Friends of the Dunes. Entrance fees are waived for this entire day!
Milky Way over Great Sand Dunes
The Milky Way gently glows over the dunes and Mount Herard.

NPS/Patrick Myers

Saturday, August 15, 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Great Sand Dunes Annual Astronomy Event

Celebrate the beauty of the night with park staff and amateur astronomers! More details to come.

Hispanic man holding a Catholic Statue
Geronimo Olivas

Courtesy Valley Courier News

Saturday, September 19, 1:00 pm
Visitor Center

Master Santero Geronimo Olivas

To kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, Master Santero Geronimo Olivas will demonstrate and present his traditional 'santos', statues that are a part of the cultural history of the Catholic church in the region. Time to be announced.


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Last updated: January 4, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca, CO 81146


(719) 378-6395

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