Where else can you wade in a creek, walk through the desert, and have a view of the mountains all on the same horizon? Welcome to the Great Sand Dunes National Park!

1. People have enjoyed the dunes for thousands of years. 

The history of the Great Sand Dunes National Park is varied in its use. The earliest traces of human visitors dates back to more than 11,000 years ago. Since then, Native Americans who lived in the area, explorers, gold rushers, and modern day vacationers have all walked across this land. This place seems to be revered by all.

2. The Dunes are a high alpine desert. 

This desert ecosystem spans 30 square miles, making a unique high altitude desert in the San Luis Valley. The San Luis Valley is surrounded by two mountain ranges, the Sangre de Cristos and the San Juan Mountains, adding to the natural beauty of the area.

3. Water in the desert?

The Great Sand Dunes contains two mountain streams, the Medano and Sand Creek.  The streams run through the Great Sand Dunes seasonally with the mountain’s spring run-off. Picture the largest sand dunes in North America and a cold mountain stream right next to each other.

4. See avalanches of singing sand.

Did you know that sand can avalanche just like snow? When it does, there is an odd sound that emanates from the moving sand. Visit the NPS website here to listen to the singing sand. Maybe you will be inspired to write a song about it like Bing Crosby did in 1940.

5. There are lots of ways to play. 

Try sandboarding for the first time, or you can take your 4WD vehicle out for a spin on the historic roads in the wooded areas of the park. The kids will love the ranger programs and splashing around in one of the creeks that runs through the park. After playing all day, you will love hanging out at night and watching the amazing view of the stars. Check out all of the different things to do at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.

6. Stay in Alamosa. 

Alamosa, about an hours’ drive to the park, is the closest town to the Great Sand Dunes. This alone is reason enough to stay overnight and take advantage of the amazing night sky. Camping is available at the park. If you are not into camping, check out the NPS website for a list of nearby hotel rooms.

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