The Great Sand Dunes National Monument is nestled against the Sangre De Cristo mountains and is one of the most notable and beloved sites in the San Luis Valley. The park became a national monument in 1932 and a national park and preserve in 2000-2004 to protect the park.

Many visitors to the park find that their favorite part is the flowing Medano Creek where children and Adults can play in the waves and sand alongside the creek. While the water is fun, it is an integral part of the park, as it works to keep everything working. The streams, wetlands and the dunes themselves rely on water to help them survive.

Medano Creek flows at its peak from mid to late May after the snow has started to melt. May temperatures are moderate and many plants will begin to bloom as well. May and June are busy months at the park and there are usually large crowds, especially on the weekends. If you want to play in the water, we suggest that you make your reservations well ahead of time and reserve your spot at Aspen Ridge RV Park for the month of May or the first part of June.

Visitors are free to explore anywhere on the dunes, whenever they like. Caution is advised as the sand can heat up to 150 degrees during the summer months. Visitors enjoy hiking to the top of the dunes near the parking lot to take in the view and enjoy the challenge of traveling to the top. Aside from playing in the water and hiking the dunes, you can also try your hand at sandboarding, explore the Visitor’s Center, experience interactive exhibits, go horseback riding, and roll or slide down the dunes.

The Dunes are about an hour and a half from Aspen Ridge RV Park.

For more information on things to do while at the dunes, please visit The Upper Rio Grande Guide.

For more information about the Great Sand Dunes National Park, please visit the National Park Service website.