Ranger Programs

Amphitheater Program at Night
Summer evening programs at Great Sand Dunes' open-air amphitheater include images and videos on the large screen.

NPS/Graham Oden

Free Ranger Programs

Your visit can be more enjoyable when you better understand the environment around you. Ranger programs are offered from late May through October as staffing permits, and occasionally during other times of the year. Schedules are generally posted each Friday for the following week's programs. You may request a special program for a larger group by calling the Visitor Center at 719-378-6395, or send an email.

Saturday, June 23

3:30 pm Afternoon Program — “Secrets in the Sand”
Come discover some of the secrets of the sand dunes! Learn about rare animals-- both ancient and present-day-- that lived here, mysterious legends, and the secret that holds the dunes. Touch real spear points, prehistoric camel teeth, and a Columbian mammoth tooth. Visitor Center Back Porch, 30 minutes.

8:45 pm Evening Program —“A Sky Full of Stars”
Turn down the lights and travel to the farthest reaches of space to discover the dark skies above Great Sand Dunes. Program includes a brief tour of our cosmic neighborhood and a tour of the night sky. Amphitheater, 45 minutes. Telescope viewing available after the program, weather permitting. Bring a pair of binoculars for viewing after the program.

Sunday, June 24

1:30 -3:00 pm Solar Telescope Viewing
Stop by the visitor center back porch to safely view sunspots and solar flares!

8:45 pm Evening Program — "Stories in the Sky"
Here at the Great Sand Dunes, we have an amazing, dark night sky--perfect for stargazing! Come learn about the ways humans historically used the stars, and hear constellation stories from around the world. Find out what you can do to keep the stars visible for everybody. Ampitheater, 45 minutes. Optional constellation tour afterward, weather permitting.

Thursday, June 28

1:30 -3:00 pm Solar Telescope Viewing
Stop by the visitor center back porch to safely view sunspots and solar flares!

6:00 pm Sunset Hike — “Dunes on the Move”
Come see a part of the park that few people see! Hike off the beaten path to explore the Escape Dunes, Ghost Forest, and a culturally modified tree. Learn about moving versus stationary dunes and the connections between sand and the life of plants and historic people. This is a 2-hour, 2.5 mile round trip hike in soft sand and occasionally through cactus. Bring closed-toed shoes, water and snacks. Meet at Amphitheater Parking Lot, below the campground.

8:45 pm Evening Program —“Twilight Talk with Ranger Amy”
Come talk with Ranger Amy about Traditional Ecological Knowledge, what its relationship is to the dunes and . . . to You! Share stories about people, the park, and perhaps, your family traditions. Please bring camp chairs, blankets, or cushions to sit on. Amphitheater, 40 minutes.

Friday, June 29

2:00 -3:00 pm Solar Telescope Viewing
Stop by the visitor center back porch to safely view sunspots and solar flares!

3:30 pm Afternoon Program — “Secrets in the Sand”
Come discover some of the secrets of the sand dunes! Learn about rare animals-- both ancient and present-day-- that lived here, mysterious legends, and the secret that holds the dunes. Touch real spear points, prehistoric camel teeth, and a Columbian mammoth tooth. Visitor Center Back Porch, 30 minutes.

7:30 pm Sunset Walk
Learn about unique aspects of Great Sand Dunes on a quarter mile walk. Meet at Visitor Center Back Porch, 40 minutes.

8:45 pm Evening Program —“The Disappearing Darkness”
The night sky is disappearing for millions of people across the world. Join a ranger to discover where the night sky has gone and what you can do to bring it back! Amphitheater, 45 minutes. Telescope viewing available after the program, weather permitting. Bring a pair of binoculars for viewing after the program.


Saturday, June 23

2:00 -3:00 pm Solar Telescope Viewing
Stop by the visitor center back porch to safely view sunspots and solar flares!

3:30 pm Afternoon Program — “Secrets in the Sand”
Come discover some of the secrets of the sand dunes! Learn about rare animals-- both ancient and present-day-- that lived here, mysterious legends, and the secret that holds the dunes. Touch real spear points, prehistoric camel teeth, and a Columbian mammoth tooth. Visitor Center Back Porch, 30 minutes.

7:30 pm Sunset Walk — “On the Wings of the Wind”
This curve in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains has drawn diverse bird life, historical cultures, and grains of sand for thousands of years. We’ll look for birds, taste and smell plants historically used by people here, and touch artifacts they left behind. Meet at Montville Nature Trailhead. Half mile walk through foothills, 40 minutes.

8:45 pm Evening Program —“A Sky Full of Stars”
Turn down the lights and travel to the farthest reaches of space to discover the dark skies above Great Sand Dunes. Program includes a brief tour of our cosmic neighborhood and a tour of the night sky. Amphitheater, 45 minutes. Telescope viewing available after the program, weather permitting. Bring a pair of binoculars for viewing after the program.

Sunday, June 24

1:30 -3:00 pm Solar Telescope Viewing
Stop by the visitor center back porch to safely view sunspots and solar flares!

8:45 pm Evening Program — "Stories in the Sky"
Here at the Great Sand Dunes, we have an amazing, dark night sky--perfect for stargazing! Come learn about the ways humans historically used the stars, and hear constellation stories from around the world. Find out what you can do to keep the stars visible for everybody. Ampitheater, 45 minutes. Optional constellation tour afterward, weather permitting.

Thursday, June 28

1:30 -3:00 pm Solar Telescope Viewing
Stop by the visitor center back porch to safely view sunspots and solar flares!

6:00 pm Sunset Hike — “Dunes on the Move”
Come see a part of the park that few people see! Hike off the beaten path to explore the Escape Dunes, Ghost Forest, and a culturally modified tree. Learn about moving versus stationary dunes and the connections between sand and the life of plants and historic people. This is a 2-hour, 2.5 mile round trip hike in soft sand and occasionally through cactus. Bring closed-toed shoes, water and snacks. Meet at Amphitheater Parking Lot, below the campground.

8:45 pm Evening Program —“Twilight Talk with Ranger Amy”
Come talk with Ranger Amy about Traditional Ecological Knowledge, what its relationship is to the dunes and . . . to You! Share stories about people, the park, and perhaps, your family traditions. Please bring camp chairs, blankets, or cushions to sit on. Amphitheater, 40 minutes.

Friday, June 29

2:00 -3:00 pm Solar Telescope Viewing
Stop by the visitor center back porch to safely view sunspots and solar flares!

3:30 pm Afternoon Program — “Secrets in the Sand”
Come discover some of the secrets of the sand dunes! Learn about rare animals-- both ancient and present-day-- that lived here, mysterious legends, and the secret that holds the dunes. Touch real spear points, prehistoric camel teeth, and a Columbian mammoth tooth. Visitor Center Back Porch, 30 minutes.

7:30 pm Sunset Walk
Learn about unique aspects of Great Sand Dunes on a quarter mile walk. Meet at Visitor Center Back Porch, 40 minutes.

8:45 pm Evening Program —“The Disappearing Darkness”
The night sky is disappearing for millions of people across the world. Join a ranger to discover where the night sky has gone and what you can do to bring it back! Amphitheater, 45 minutes. Telescope viewing available after the program, weather permitting. Bring a pair of binoculars for viewing after the program.


Saturday, June 23

2:00 -3:00 pm Solar Telescope Viewing
Stop by the visitor center back porch to safely view sunspots and solar flares!

3:30 pm Afternoon Program — “Secrets in the Sand”
Come discover some of the secrets of the sand dunes! Learn about rare animals-- both ancient and present-day-- that lived here, mysterious legends, and the secret that holds the dunes. Touch real spear points, prehistoric camel teeth, and a Columbian mammoth tooth. Visitor Center Back Porch, 30 minutes.

7:30 pm Sunset Walk — “On the Wings of the Wind”
This curve in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains has drawn diverse bird life, historical cultures, and grains of sand for thousands of years. We’ll look for birds, taste and smell plants historically used by people here, and touch artifacts they left behind. Meet at Montville Nature Trailhead. Half mile walk through foothills, 40 minutes.

8:45 pm Evening Program —“A Sky Full of Stars”
Turn down the lights and travel to the farthest reaches of space to discover the dark skies above Great Sand Dunes. Program includes a brief tour of our cosmic neighborhood and a tour of the night sky. Amphitheater, 45 minutes. Telescope viewing available after the program, weather permitting. Bring a pair of binoculars for viewing after the program.

 
Ranger with Students by Medano Creek
Ranger with Students Beside Medano Creek

NPS/Patrick Myers

Programs for Schools

Free educational programs at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve provide hands-on field experiences that can support and enhance your learning objectives. Visit our Education Page to learn more and request a program!

Last updated: June 23, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca, CO 81146

Phone:

(719) 378-6395

Contact Us