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What Equipment Slides on Sand?
Where Can I Rent Sand Sleds and Sandboards?
The National Park Service does not rent sand sleds or sandboards. Plan to rent gear before arriving at the park. Specially designed sandboards and sand sleds may be rented or purchased at retailers in the San Luis Valley. Some retailers are a 45 minute drive away from the dunes.
Where Can I Sled and Sandboard?
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.
How Can I Sled or Board Safely?
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.
Injuries occur more commonly when sand is firm after rain or melting snow, while dry sand is soft, making for easier landings if you fall down.
Last updated: November 16, 2023