Great Sand Dunes National Park is a unique and spectacular destination located in Southern Colorado. It is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America, towering up to 750 feet high, and covering over 30 square miles of land. In addition to the dunes, the park boasts alpine forests, wetlands, and tundra, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all types. In this post, we will share five fun activities that visitors can enjoy while exploring Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Sandboarding and Sand Sledding
One of the most popular activities at Great Sand Dunes National Park is sandboarding and sand sledding. Visitors can rent sandboards or sleds from various rental companies in the nearby town of Alamosa or bring their own. Sandboarding is similar to snowboarding, except that you ride down the sand dunes instead of snow-covered mountains. Sand sledding is also a fun activity, especially for younger visitors.
Before you head out onto the sand dunes, be sure to check the weather forecast and wind conditions. Windy days are best for sandboarding and sand sledding, as the sand will be more compact and easier to ride on. Make sure to wear sunscreen, as the sand can reflect the sun’s rays and cause sunburns. It’s also a good idea to wear goggles to protect your eyes from sand particles.
Great Sand Dunes National Park offers a wide variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy, family-friendly walks to more challenging treks. One popular trail is the Dunes Overlook Trail, which is a 2.5-mile round trip hike that offers stunning views of the dunes and surrounding mountains. Another popular trail is the Mosca Pass Trail, which is a 7-mile round trip hike that takes visitors through alpine forests and up to Mosca Pass, offering breathtaking views of the park.
If you’re looking for a shorter hike, the Montville Nature Trail is a 0.5-mile loop that takes visitors through wetlands and offers opportunities to see wildlife such as beavers, birds, and deer. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as the park can get hot and dry during the summer months.
Great Sand Dunes National Park is an ideal destination for stargazing due to its remote location and lack of light pollution. The park offers a number of stargazing programs and events throughout the year, including guided night hikes, astronomy talks, and telescope viewing parties.
If you’re interested in stargazing on your own, the park offers several designated stargazing areas, including the Dunes Parking Lot, Sand Pit Parking Lot, and the campground. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own telescopes and binoculars, as well as warm clothing, as the park can get chilly at night.
Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to a variety of bird species, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers. The park offers several birdwatching programs and events throughout the year, including guided bird walks and bird banding demonstrations.
Some of the most common bird species found in the park include the mountain bluebird, western tanager, and red-tailed hawk. The park’s wetlands are also home to a variety of waterfowl, such as ducks, geese, and herons. Be sure to bring binoculars and a field guide to help identify the different bird species.
For visitors who prefer to explore the park on horseback, Great Sand Dunes National Park offers several horseback riding trails. The park’s horseback riding program is run by the Zapata Ranch, a working cattle and bison ranch located adjacent to the park. Visitors can choose from a variety of guided trail rides, ranging from one hour to a full day. Horseback riding is a great way to experience the park’s stunning landscapes and wildlife in a unique and memorable way.
Great Sand Dunes National Park offers a wide range of fun and exciting activities for visitors of all ages and interests. From sandboarding and hiking to stargazing, birdwatching, and horseback riding, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-packed adventure or a peaceful retreat in nature, Great Sand Dunes National Park is a must-visit destination that should be on every outdoor enthusiast’s bucket list.
If you’re planning a visit to the park, why not stay at the Cool Sunshine RV Park? Located in Alamosa, the closest city to the Great Sand Dunes, our park offers a range of comfortable and affordable accommodation options for all types of RVers. Plus, our park is located close to the great food of downtown Alamosa. So why not make the most of your visit to Great Sand Dunes National Park and stay with us at Cool Sunshine RV Park? Pack your bags, grab your sunscreen and camera, and head out to experience the wonders of this spectacular national park.