Your Guide To The Great Sand Dunes National Park

Your Guide To The Great Sand Dunes National Park

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By UNROOTME

 I’m embarrassed to admit that before we started traveling full-time, I didn’t have a clue the Great Sand Dunes were located in Colorado. For some reason or another, I thought they were in Texas. Silly I know but, to my defense, there are sand-hills in Texas. They’re just not nearly as big as the ones in Colorado. Not even close! The highest ones in Texas are 70 feet tall compared to the ones in Colorado that are 750 feet tall.

 

In my opinion, however, they’re equally fun and make great vacation destinations. So, let’s get to planning an awesome trip.

“Before visiting the Red Rock Canyon we had never seen these gorgeous rocks. Boy were we missing out!” We traveled here two year ago while living in our fifth-wheel. Now were here in our Outback and love it just as much. Thanks RV life for opening our door to so many different adventures!”

Your Guide To The Great Sand Dunes National Park

What to Wear
When we took our trip to the sand dunes, we didn’t put much thought into what to wear. We just put on our everyday clothes and hit the dunes. For the most part, it worked out perfectly. The only issue we had was the wind blowing the sand into our eyes, legs, and arms. I don’t think this would ruin the average persons visit, however, if you have a young child it could ruin theirs. So why not come prepared for a comfortable visit for everyone and consider wearing the items below.

Five Finger Shoes
In my opinion, walking barefoot in the sand is the easiest way to hike in the dunes. You don’t end up with a shoe full of sand every couple of minutes. However, the problem with this is the sand can get extremely hot fast. So I would suggest bringing shoes with you at the very least.
Five finger shoes would be the closest to barefoot and probably easiest to keep the sand out.  

Long Sleeved Pants and Shirt
Like I said before wearing shorts and a t-shirt isn’t going to ruin your trip to the sand dunes, but it may make it a little more uncomfortable than needed. There are times the wind whips the sand pretty hard and it can certainly sting your bare skin. 

Sand Goggles
If you plan to go sledding or sand boarding during your trip, I would suggest bringing something to protect your eyes. We wore sunglasses that worked fine until the boys sled down a huge sand dune causing, the sand to get into the side of their glasses. In this case, I think goggles would have helped.

Where To Rent A Sled Or Sand Board
 

We kept going back and forth on rather we wanted to rent a sand board or a sled. We only planned on renting one. We already had been sledding at the Montanans, Texas sand dunes and thought it might be fun to try sand boarding. The only problem was they had a specific size and board for kids and adult so we couldn’t share one. I had also heard that the sand boards didn’t go as fast as the sleds. This meant we were going sledding, not sand boarding.

Oh, and if you plan to take photos or have young kids, I would suggest not renting as many sleds as you have people. Share a couple between you all. It isn’t easy carrying the sleds up and down the dunes with the wind blowing plus I’m sure once someone goes down the hill and has to climb back up, they will need a break anyway. 


Kristy mountain gear
3223 Main Street
Alamosa , CO 81101
Phone: (719) 589-9759
Fax: (719) 589-2008
36 miles from the national park
$18 Sled
$18 Sand board

Sand Dunes Swimming Pool and Recreation
1991 County Road 63, Hooper, CO 81136
Phone: 719-378-2807
Fax: 719-378-2806
32 miles away from Sand Dunes National Park
$19 Sled
$18 Sandboard

Sand Dunes Oasis 
7800 Highway 150 North
Mosca Colorado 81146
Phone: 719-378-2222
3.5 miles away from Sand Dunes National Park
$21 Sled
$21 Sand board
   
Best time of Year to Visit 

I’d say you can visit any time of the year with little change other than the weather and water flow in the creek.

Winter = cold but good sledding 
Spring = comfortable temperature and good flowing water
Summer = lots of tourists and hotter temperatures
Fall = fewer tourists, comfortable temperatures

 

Pets on the Dunes

I was surprised to learn that The Great Sand Dunes National Park allows pets in most areas of the park. All they ask is you pick up after them and be responsible. I’d also advise bringing them some water and something to protect their feet from the hot sand. 

As a travel blogger, I typically bring my camera everywhere. Including the sand dunes which, isn’t an easy task. The wind whips the sand in every way possible making it very hard to take your camera out safely. I ended up using our action camera with its water case which worked great. Although, next time we return, I’ll be sure to have protection for our main camera. 
 If you aren’t looking to blog your day and would just like to capture a couple of photographs, I’d consider purchasing a disposable camera or one that’s completely enclosed.

If we didn’t travel full-time with two cats or thought about reserving a place ahead of time, we would have loved to camp in the National Park or stayed in an Airbnb. However, neither of those worked out for us and we ended up staying in a camping cabin at a KOA park. 

 

The are several options in the area though. You can try Booking.com to get the best rate.

 

Booking.com

-The National park in a tent or an RV
  https://www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/pinonflatscampground.htm

 

 A home on Airbnb.

Be sure to use my link to get $40 off your first stay.
   www.airbnb.com/c/justina8049

 

RV parks offer cabins, tent sites, and RV sites
  http://www.greatdunes.com/
  http://sanddunespool.com/
  https://koa.com/campgrounds/alamosa/
  http://www.blancarvpark.com/
  
-Hotels
  Great Sand Dunes Lodge
  http://www.gsdlodge.com/
  
  Zapata Ranch
  http://www.zranch.org/

 

Now its time to pack a lunch and prepare your self for a workout by heading over to the national parks website to figure out which activities you would like to do during your visit.

Oh, Yeah and if you have a little one with you be sure to pick up your Jr. Ranger booklet at the parks visitor center.