Across the San Luis Valley and against the backdrop of rugged 14,000-foot peaks, the Great Sand Dunes provide a stunning sight to behold. Over 30 square miles of dunes appear as a “sea of sand” against the nearly vertical face of the Sange de Cristo Mountains. These unique dunes, created by the continuous work of water and wind moving sand, provide a recreation area unlike any other. Medano Creek flows seasonally at the base of the dunes, providing a place where visitors enjoy sand, water and sun in a spectacular mountain setting.
Climb the “High Dune,” nearly 700 feet above the valley floor, and sand board or “sled” back down! Before leaving the park, be sure to visit Zapata Falls. A half-mile hike leads uphill to an intriguing waterfall. Along the trail, enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding country, including the Great Sand Dunes far below.
If you wish to spend a little more time in the area, we recommend a stop by the Colorado Gator Farm, where you may view and feed over 400 gators as well as dozens of pythons, turtles, rattlers, iguanas, dragons, geckos, parrots, tortoises, and more. Learn more at www.nps.gov/grsa - Approximately 80 miles from South Fork.