Sandboarding and Sand Sledding

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Boy Sandboarding
Boy Sandboarding

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 with extra slick base material and special wax; 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 surface is usually dry.
  • No: Cardboard, saucers, and soft plastic items don't slide on sand; they will dig into or drag on the sand.
  • No: Rectangles of rigid, ultra-slick plastic or masonite might slide, but are not safe: there is no way to control or steer them, and their angled edges could cause injuries.


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.

Stack of Sandboards and Sand Sleds
On the left are sandboards, with footstraps for standing. To the right are sand sleds, with a padded seat and handles.


The National Park Service does not rent sleds or sandboards; these may be rented or purchased at three retailers in the San Luis Valley.

Sandboards and sand sleds are available year-round for rent or purchase at Kristi Mountain Sports, located 40 miles southwest of the Visitor Center, 719-589-9759. To protect the special slick material on the bottom of each board, Kristi will not rent them when the sand is frozen.

Sand Dunes Swimming Pool and Recreation, located 32 miles west of the Visitor Center near Hooper, rents sandboards and sand sleds year round. Follow the link or call 719-378-2807. The facility is closed on Thursdays for pool cleaning.

From April through mid-October, sandboards and sand sleds are available for rent at the Oasis Store just outside the park entrance. Hours vary; call 719-378-2222. To protect the special slick material on the bottom of each board, Oasis will not rent sleds when the sand is wet.

Girl Sandboarding on First Ridge of Dunes
Girl Sandboarding on First Ridge of Dunes

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.

Last updated: October 24, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca, CO 81146


(719) 378-6395

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