2018 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 14, 8:00am-11:30am

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.
Amphitheater at Night During Ranger Program
Summer evening ranger programs are popular for all ages!

NPS/Graham Oden

Friday, May 18 - Saturday, September 29

Summer Ranger Programs

Evening programs or night hikes 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 25 - Monday, September 3

Extended Visitor Center Hours

Great Sand Dunes will offer extended visitor center hours starting Friday, May 25 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 4, 9 am – 1 pm

Junior Ranger Day

Junior Ranger Day is an opportunity for kids of all ages to participate in exploratory activities at the South Ramada picnic area, adjacent to the Dunes Parking Area. 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 and the staff and volunteers at Great Sand Dunes.
Mountain Man Reeenactor Walking in a Meadow
Mountain Man Living Historian Jack Rudder

courtesy Jack Rudder

Saturday, August 11, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Celebrating Cultural Experiences in the San Luis Valley: Mountain Man Encampment

In the 1700s, "Mountain Men" were some of the earliest known people of European descent to live in the San Luis Valley. They had to be savvy and rugged, able to negotiate with American Indians, soldiers, and settlers while living off the land in the remote Rocky Mountain backcountry. San Luis Valley historian, Jack Rudder, will create a mountain man encampment at the visitor center, complete with a historic tent and numerous items that would have been used by mountain men in this area. Stop by and discover this little-known part of San Luis Valley heritage!

Buffalo Soldier Reenactor
Buffalo Soldier Reenactor Jay Clark

Photo: Haley Eboma, courtesy Fort Larned National Historic Site

Saturday, August 18, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Celebrating Cultural Experiences in the San Luis Valley:
Buffalo Soldier Encampment and Sunset Program

Few realize that African American Buffalo Soldiers from the US Army patrolled the Great Sand Dunes area 140 years ago. Based at Fort Garland, these courageous men sometimes faced prejudice and persecution, yet heroically served their country by protecting area settlers and American Indians. Visit a living history Buffalo Soldier encampment between 11 am to 3 pm at the visitor center, and a more formal presentation from 7 pm to 8 pm at the amphitheater. Jay and Esther Clark and other reenactors will portray the daily life of Buffalo Soldiers and a laundress camping in this rugged wilderness. Stop by and discover this little-known part of San Luis Valley heritage!
Star Party Silhouettes


Saturday, September 8, 8:30 pm

Amateur Astronomy Night

Astronomers of all levels are invited to Great Sand Dunes to share their time and telescopes to engage the public with unique astronomy experiences. Participate in telescope viewings of deep space objects, planets, and other unique celestial objects from a variety of scopes. Visitors are invited to bring their own telescope and share their knowledge, experience and passion with visitors, alike. Warm clothing, rain gear, head lamps with red lights, and sturdy shoes are recommended.

By Date

Event Results

Sorry, but there are no events between 02/12/2018 and 03/14/2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca, CO 81146


(719) 378-6395

Contact Us