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Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Description

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The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a remarkable and unique landscape situated in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. The result of hundreds of thousands of years of geologic activity, wind and erosion, these are the tallest sand dunes in all of North America and a striking example of the forces of nature and time. The dunes are in a state of constant change and any time of year is wonderful opportunity to hike and slide on the high dunes, as well as explore the rivers and creeks that contribute to the growth and preservation of the dunes.

The Great Sand Dunes are true phenomena of geology, wind, nature, and time, and the story of their creation is an exciting tale. The story begins with the eruption of the La Garita Caldera, which is the largest known volcanic explosion in the history of the Earth, creating the San Juan Mountains. Next, geologic forces led to the rising of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and established the San Luis Valley. Rivers and creeks eroded sediment from these two mountain ranges and formed large lakes in the valley. Over time the lakes dried up and left large deposits of sand in the valley. Prevailing winds blew sands toward the Sangre de Cristo Mountains while opposing winds blew in the opposite direction. The force of the opposing winds is what drove the dunes to their unique height, as high as 750 feet. Rivers and creeks continue to replenish the sands, while the winds continue to push to dunes towards the splendid Colorado sky.

The Great Sand Dunes are a wonderland of hiking and unique in that there are no established trails. All thirty square miles of dunes are open to boundless exploration. Favorites include the High Dune and Star Dune. The High Dune is near the parking lot and has a fantastic view from the top. The Star Dune is the highest dune in North America at 750 feet. Hikers are rewarded with unforgettable views of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the ancient San Luis Valley.

Hikes into the dunes should also include sliding on the dunes! The dunes, particularly after recent rains, are perfect for sledding, skiing and snowboarding. With no trails or boundaries, all 30 square miles of the preserve can become a vast playground for sliding. Keep in mind that cardboard does not work, and that sliding is difficult or impossible if the sand is too dry.

A family favorite at the preserve is relaxing and playing in the rivers and creeks that feed the dunes and valley. Medano Creek is the predominant creek through the dunes and offers a variety of recreational opportunities. Sun bathing, sand castle building, splashing and playing, and even skim boarding and surfing are possible. Mid-May to late June has the highest flow and is often the best time for water recreation.

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Businesses

Whether you want to travel to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, spend the night, go shopping, or have a romantic dinner, we have the business listings to help you plan your Colorado vacation close to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Please click on the categories below to expand them. If you believe we missed a business or mis-categorized it, or if you have any other comment, please let us know by clicking here.

Alpine Lodge

Alpine Lodge

6848 County Road 140
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-2660
Jess Best Bar B Que Catering

Jess Best Bar B Que Catering

105 N 3rd St
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-9037
Letter Drop Inn

Letter Drop Inn

6654 County Road 328
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-9430
www.custerguide.com
Lu's Main Street Cafe

Lu's Main Street Cafe

724 Main St
Blanca, CO 81123
(719) 379-8646
www.mainstreetcafe.org
San Luis Valley Brewing Company

San Luis Valley Brewing Company

631 Main St
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 587-2337
Water Park/Inn-Rio Grand

Water Park/Inn-Rio Grand

333 Santa Fe Ave
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-5833
www.innoftherio.com
Splashland Hot Springs

Splashland Hot Springs

5895 Co-17
Alamosa, CO
(719) 589-6307
Alamosa Lamplighter Motel

Alamosa Lamplighter Motel

425 Main St
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-6636
www.alamosa.org
Alpine Lodge

Alpine Lodge

6848 County Road 140
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-2660
Antler Liquor & Motel

Antler Liquor & Motel

102 S 6th St
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-2426
Best Western

Best Western

2005 Main St
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-2567
www.bestwestern.com
Hotel Limited Service Year Built 1960 Year Remodeled 2010 Additional Property Description Stay at this delightful Alamosa hotel and experience...
Comfort Inn Alamosa

Comfort Inn Alamosa

6301 W Us Highway 160
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 587-9000
www.comfortinn.com
Comfort Inn Alamosa is located in Alamosa. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness facility. This hotel has a 24 hour business center and offers a meeting/conference...
Days Inn Alamosa

Days Inn Alamosa

223 Santa Fe Avenue
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-9037
www.daysinn.com
Days Inn Alamosa Co

Days Inn Alamosa Co

224 Okeefe Pkwy
Alamosa, CO 81101
Days Inn Alamosa Co is located in Alamosa. Hotel Features. Days Inn Alamosa Co features a restaurant. Additional property amenities include self parking. Guestrooms. Televisions have cable channels....
Grizzly Inn Motel

Grizzly Inn Motel

1919 Main St
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-4788
Hampton Inn Alamosa Co

Hampton Inn Alamosa Co

710 Mariposa St
Alamosa, CO 81101
Hampton Inn Alamosa Co is located in Alamosa. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness facility. This 2.5 star property has a 24 hour business center and offers...
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alamosa

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alamosa

3418 Mariposa
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-4026
www.hiexpress.com
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alamosa is located in the midtown area of Alamosa. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, a sauna, and a fitness facility. This 2.5 star...
Horn Creek Conference Grounds

Horn Creek Conference Grounds

6758 County Road 130
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-2205
www.horncreek.org
Inn of the Rio Grande

Inn of the Rio Grande

333 Santa Fe Ave
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-0983
innoftherio.com
Inn of the Rio Grande is located in Alamosa. Property Features. Inn of the Rio Grande's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available. Recreational...
Main Street Inn Bed & Breakfast

Main Street Inn Bed & Breakfast

501 Main St
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-4000
www.mainstreetbnb.com
Outpost Bed & Breakfast Country Inn

Outpost Bed & Breakfast Country Inn

687 County Road 517
Fraser, CO 80442
The Outpost B&B Country Inn is located in Fraser, Colo. Less than three miles from Winter Park Winery Five miles from the Grand Theater Company Less than nine miles from the Winter Park Resort (Ski Area)...
Outpost Bed & Breakfast Inn

Outpost Bed & Breakfast Inn

687 Cr-517
Fraser, CO
(970) 726-5346
winterpark-inn.com
Rio Grande Motel

Rio Grande Motel

2051 Main St
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-9095
www.riograndemotel.net
River's Edge B & B

River's Edge B & B

90 Cuchara Ave E
La Veta, CO
(719) 742-5169
River's Edge B & B

River's Edge B & B

90 Cuchara Ave E
La Veta, CO
(719) 742-5169
Sky Vue Motel

Sky Vue Motel

250 Broadway Ave
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-4945
Super 8 Almosa Co

Super 8 Almosa Co

2505 W Main
Alamosa, CO 81101-2239
(719) 589-6447
www.super8.com
Hotelyear built 1990 year remodeled 1995additional property description all super 8 motels offer consistently clean and friendly accommodations and services. Super 8 properties provide...
Water Park/Inn-Rio Grand

Water Park/Inn-Rio Grand

333 Santa Fe Ave
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-5833
www.innoftherio.com
Westcliffe Inn

Westcliffe Inn

57975 Co-69
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-9275
www.westcliffeinn.com
San Luis Valley Brewing Company

San Luis Valley Brewing Company

631 Main St
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 587-2337
Splashland Hot Springs

Splashland Hot Springs

5895 Co-17
Alamosa, CO
(719) 589-6307
Water Park/Inn-Rio Grand

Water Park/Inn-Rio Grand

333 Santa Fe Ave
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-5833
www.innoftherio.com
Antler Liquor & Motel

Antler Liquor & Motel

102 S 6th St
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-2426
Arterburn Fine Arts & Graphics

Arterburn Fine Arts & Graphics

409 Main St
Westcliffe, CO
(719) 783-2099
Black Horse Antiques

Black Horse Antiques

414 Main St
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-4142
Chuck Wagon Trading Post & Saddler

Chuck Wagon Trading Post & Saddler

206 Main St
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-3223
Hudson, Ken - Ken's Rents

Hudson, Ken - Ken's Rents

103 S 3rd St
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-9009
kensrents.com
Alamosa County Chamber-Cmmrc

Alamosa County Chamber-Cmmrc

300 Chamber Dr
Alamosa, CO 81101
(719) 589-3681
www.chamberofcommerce.com
All Aboard Westcliffe Incorporated

All Aboard Westcliffe Incorporated

110 Rosita Cir
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-0945
Horn Creek Conference Grounds

Horn Creek Conference Grounds

6758 County Road 130
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-2205
www.horncreek.org
Wet Mountain Tribune

Wet Mountain Tribune

404 Main St
Westcliffe, CO 81252
(719) 783-2361
wetmountaintribune.com

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