Welcome to Great Sand Dunes National Park, where endless waves of golden sand and towering peaks create a surreal landscape straight out of a dream. Nestled in the heart of Colorado, this unique park offers families an unforgettable opportunity to play, explore, and connect with nature. Here are eight reasons why Great Sand Dunes is the perfect destination for families:

Medano Creek: Begin your adventure at Medano Creek, a seasonal stream that flows along the base of the dunes. Wade through the shallow waters, build sandcastles on the sandy banks, and cool off in the refreshing mountain stream.

High Dune: Climb to the top of High Dune, the tallest sand dune in North America, for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Trek across the rippling sands and marvel at the vastness of the dunes stretching out before you.

Sandboarding and Sledding: Experience the thrill of sandboarding or sledding down the steep slopes of the dunes. Rent sandboards or sleds from the visitor center and glide down the sandy slopes for an adrenaline-pumping adventure the whole family will love.

Zapata Falls: Discover Zapata Falls, a hidden gem tucked away in the mountains just outside the park. Hike the short but scenic trail to reach the waterfall, which cascades over a rocky cliff into a cool, shaded pool below.

Mosca Pass Trail: Explore the Mosca Pass Trail for a chance to escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the surrounding mountains and forests. Hike through aspen groves, pine forests, and wildflower meadows, and keep an eye out for wildlife along the way.

Star Dunes: Marvel at the unique formations known as star dunes, which are characterized by their multiple arms radiating from a central point. Hike to the top of these towering dunes for stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the distant Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Picnic Areas: Enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by breathtaking scenery at one of the park’s designated picnic areas. Relax in the shade of cottonwood trees, listen to the soothing sounds of nature, and savor a delicious meal with your family.

Junior Ranger Program: Engage the whole family in Great Sand Dunes’ Junior Ranger Program, where kids can learn about desert ecology, geology, and conservation through fun and interactive activities. Upon completion, they’ll receive a badge and a sense of pride in protecting this unique natural treasure.

With its towering dunes, shimmering creek, and opportunities for adventure and exploration, Great Sand Dunes National Park offers families a chance to connect with nature and create memories that will last a lifetime. Pack your sunscreen, sand toys, and sense of adventure, and prepare for an unforgettable journey into the heart of the dunes.


Billions of grains of sand eroded from mountains combined with powerful winds helped create Great Sand Dunes National Park. This 330 square mile huge sand dune is the tallest in North America. We parked our car at the Point of No Return. The creek along the base of the dunefield was mostly dried up and we hiked the black mucky path….

Canceled July 30, 2012