Ranger Programs

Amphitheater Program at Night
Images and videos are shown during summer evening programs at Great Sand Dunes' open-air amphitheater.

NPS/Graham Oden

Free Ranger Programs


Your visit can be more enjoyable when you better understand the environment around you. Ranger programs are offered primarily late spring through fall, and occasionally during other times of the year as staffing permits.

 

Refresh this page for the latest schedule.

Free Ranger Programs July 30-August 7, 2021

All programs are weather-dependent..

Friday, July 30

10:00 am Porch Talk – Learn about the role hunting played during prehistoric times in this region and learn about the role it plays in the mountains of Great Sand Dunes National Preserve and surrounding areas. In front of the visitor center, 15 minutes.

3:30 pm Afternoon Program: Dunes Dance Moves. The formation of the Great Sand Dunes can be portrayed and felt through simple dance moves. Learn how the dunes were formed as you make these moves along with a ranger! Amphitheater, 20 minutes.

8:45 Evening Program: National Parks and NASA. Our National Parks contain some of the most unique geologic landscapes on the entire planet. Come learn how in collaboration with NASA, we can use what we know about our parks to make fascinating connections to other planets and moons in our solar system! Brief constellation tour after program. Amphitheater, 45 minutes.

Saturday, July 31

10:00 am Porch Talk: Learn about the ancient peoples who lived at Great Sand Dunes. In front of the Visitor Center, 15 minutes.

3:30 pm Afternoon Program: Earth, Wind, and Water. Learn more about the formation of the Great Sand Dunes. Amphitheater, 30 minutes.

8:45 Evening Program: Join Volunteer Astronomy Ranger Bob Bohley this evening as we explore our disappearing view of dark skies: the causes, the effects and what can be done to recover them. Amphitheater, 40 minutes. The program will be followed by a constellation tour, weather permitting.

Sunday, August 1

10:00 am Porch Talk: Discover how the Great Sand Dunes formed over time. In front of the visitor center, 15 minutes.

3:30 pm Afternoon Program: Trial of the Big 6: The 6 World-Class Resources Found Here at Great Sand Dunes. Find out what makes this park unique and what challenges this land faces as protected land. Amphitheater, 35 minutes.

8:45 Evening Program: National Parks and NASA. Our National Parks contain some of the most unique geologic landscapes on the entire planet. Come learn how in collaboration with NASA, we can use what we know about our parks to make fascinating connections to other planets and moons in our solar system! Brief constellation tour after program. Amphitheater, 45 minutes.

Tuesday, August 3

10:00 am Porch Talk: Buried Treasures. Discover how the Great Sand Dunes formed over time, and what people in the past may have experienced here. View real artifacts and fossils. In front of the visitor center, 15 minutes.

Wednesday, August 4

10:00 am Porch Talk – Learn about the role hunting played during prehistoric times in this region and learn about the role it plays in the mountains of Great Sand Dunes National Preserve and surrounding areas. In front of the visitor center, 15 minutes.

3:30 pm Afternoon Program: Trial of the Big 6: The 6 World-Class Resources Found Here at Great Sand Dunes. Find out what makes this park unique and what challenges this land faces as protected land. Amphitheater, 35 minutes.

Thursday, August 5

10:00 am Porch Talk – Learn about the ancient peoples who lived at Great Sand Dunes. In front of the visitor center, 15 minutes.

3:30 pm Afternoon Program: The Ice Hidden in the Sand. While the dunes tell a story of heat and sand, there is another story told here, a story of the ice age. We will go through these clues to learn about what this area looked like 12,000 years ago. Amphitheater, 20 minutes.

Friday, August 6

10:00 am Porch Talk: While the dunes may seem barren, they are rich with stories of change over time, flowing water, and life surviving in the sand! In front of the visitor center, 15 minutes.

3:30 pm Afternoon Program: Trial of the Big 6: The 6 World-Class Resources Found Here at Great Sand Dunes. Find out what makes this park unique and what challenges this land faces as protected land. Amphitheater, 35 minutes.

8:45 pm Evening Program: Backpacking 101. Backpacking at Great Sand Dunes offers its own unique challenges and rewards. Join us as we go over some tips to make your next backpacking trip more enjoyable. Amphitheater, 45 minutes. Brief constellation tour after program.

Saturday, August 7

9:00 am – 1:00 pm Junior Ranger Day! Park at the Dunes Parking Area and follow signs to the registration table to get started. There will be various stations where kids can interactively learn about the dunes, artifacts, fossils, and wildlife, and earn prizes upon completion. Stop by anytime between 9am and 1pm to participate! Sponsored by Friends of the Dunes, a non-profit citizen’s support group.

8:45 Evening Program: Disappearing Darkness. Join Volunteer Astronomy Ranger Bob Bohley to explore our disappearing view of dark skies: the causes, the effects and what can be done to recover them. Amphitheater, 40 minutes. The program will be followed by a constellation tour, weather permitting.

 
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!

 
A 4WD vehicle on a mountain pass road
Four-wheel drive expeditions are just one of the types of tours offered by commercial guides.

Courtesy Pathfinders 4x4

Commercial Tours

For commercially-guided birding, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and four-wheel-drive tours, visit the Commercial Tours page.

Last updated: July 29, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca, CO 81146

Phone:

(719) 378-6395
Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center main number

Contact Us