Sandboarding and Sand Sledding

Boy Sandboarding at Great Sand Dunes
Sandboards and sand sleds that are specifically designed for sand provide the best sliding experience.

NPS/Patrick Myers

One-minute video introduction

Sandboarding and Sand Sledding at Great Sand Dunes (National Park Service video)

Learn to use the right gear and techniques in this fun 1-minute video with music on YouTube.

 
Girl Sandboarding on High Dune Summit
Girl sandboarding off High Dune

NPS/Patrick Myers

Sand sledding or sandboarding can be fun with the right gear and conditions. Below are tips for an enjoyable and safe sledding or sandboarding experience at Great Sand Dunes.

What Works

  • Yes: Sandboards and sand sleds are specifically made for sand, featuring a special design and slick bases; these work best for sliding in most conditions.
  • No: Snow sleds, snowboards and skis only slide on very wet sand after rain or snow. The sand is usually dry.
  • No: Cardboard, rounded saucers, and soft plastic items don't slide on sand; they will dig into or drag on the sand.
  • No: Rectangles of rigid plastic or masonite may slide, but are not safe: there is no way to control or steer them, and their angled edges could cause injuries.

Safety

Plan your dunes time for early morning or evening during summer to avoid a 150 degree F sand surface or thunderstorms. In spring and fall, sand temperatures are usually moderate throughout the day, but spring afternoons can be very windy.

While Castle Creek Picnic Area (4WD only) provides close access to high slopes, sledders who can't stop may crash into the firm creekbed sand at the base. Instead, it is recommended to sled on the first high ridge of dunes, accessible from the main Dunes Parking Area. At the base of most dunes in this area is softer sand and a gentler runout to slow you down.

Sledding/Sandboarding has a high potential for injuries to occur if safety precautions aren't considered. If injuries occur, assistance from ranger staff may be required. Sledding beyond the first high ridge of dunes will make it more difficult to receive timely assistance.

 
Girl Sand Sledding
Sand sledding

NPS/Patrick Myers

Where to Go

Sandboarding, sledding, and skiing are permitted anywhere on the dunefield away from vegetated areas. From the main Dunes Parking Area, it's a minimum 0.7 mile (1km) hike to get to the small or medium-sized slopes; the top of the first high ridge is 1.25 miles. Smaller slopes at the base are fine for young children, while teens and adults may prefer longer slopes near the top of the first high ridge of dunes.

 
Ranger and Kids with Sandboards
Sand sleds (first two sleds) have a padded seat and handles. The girl on the right holds a sandboard, with footstraps for standing.

NPS/Patrick Myers

Rentals

Great Sand Dunes National Park does not rent sleds or sandboards; these may be rented or purchased at two retailers in the San Luis Valley.

Sandboards and sand sleds are available year-round for rent or purchase at Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa, 719-589-9759. (Kristi will not rent them when the sand is frozen during the coldest months, since frozen sand may break a board.)

From April - October, sandboards and sand sleds are available for rent at the Oasis Store just outside the park entrance. 719-378-2222.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca, CO 81146

Phone:

(719) 378-6395
Visitor Center phone number

Contact Us