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Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve Fees & Reservations

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English: Great Sand Dunes National Park

English: Great Sand Dunes National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Entrance fees to Great Sand Dunes National Park are very reasonable indeed, when you think about how much park you get for your money.

  • Adults over the age of 16 have to pay $3 entrance to the park, which lasts for a total of one week from the day your buy it. Under 16’s are free.
  • If you are lucky to live close enough to the park to visit it regularly throughout the year, then for $15 you can purchase an annual pass. This includes the pass holder plus any members of the family traveling in the vehicle for a whole year from the date of purchase.
  • Commercial charges to the park are a little different. It all depends on the number of passengers traveling within the commercial vehicle. For 1 – 6 passengers it’ll cost $25, for 7 – 25 passengers it costs $40 and for 26 or more passengers the entrance fee into Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is $100.
Free Entry to Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
There are some days throughout the year when the entrance fee is wavered altogether. The following dates are the free entrance days throughout 2012,  the events are generally the same for each year although the dates may change.
  • January 14 – 16 – Martin Luther King Jr Day Weekend
  • April 21 – 29 – National Park Week
  • June 9 – Get Outdoors Day
  • September 29 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 10 – 12 – Veterans Day Weekend

Doesn’t look like many people were there that day!

Camping at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is a great place to enjoy a little “r&r” – and what better way to really rest, relax and recharge your batteries than on a camping trip. Camping is very popular at the park.

Pinyon Flats Campground

Pinyon Flats Campground is just a mile to the north of the Visitor Center. As with many National Park campgrounds there are different loops.

  • Campsites are charged at $20 per night (both reserved sites and first come, first served sites)
  • There are restrooms with sinks, flush toilets plus a sink for washing dishes
  • Every site has a picnic table and a fire grate
  • Loop 1 campsites are open year round

Loop 1 – has a total of 44 sites which are available on a first come, first served basis only. A maximum of six people, two tents and two vehicles (which includes towed vehicles or trailers) are permitted on each site. Check out is at 1pm. You’re not allowed to “save” any campsites for friends arriving later, it really is first come, first served.

Loop 2 & 3 – has a total of 44 sites too, which can be reserved up to 6 months in advance during the beginning of May and the beginning of September. Sites which have not been reserved are available on a first come, first served basis. Again, each site is suitable for a maximum of six people, two tents and two vehicles.

RV Camping – there are some sites on both Loops 1 and 2 which are able to accommodate RV’s and camping trailers up to a maximum of 35 feet long. Don’t expect any hook-ups because there aren’t any – no electric, no water and no sewer hook-ups are available. During the summer months there is, however, a dump station and water hose available close to the campground.

Group Camping – all group camping sites are available to be reserved up to 12 months in advance during the middles of April and the middle of October.

  • Group Site A can accommodate between 20 and 40 people and is $80 per night
  • Group Site B can accommodate between 20 and 40 people and is $80 per night
  • Group Site C can accommodate between 15 and 30 people and is $65 per night


Campground Rules at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

  • Don’t feed the wildlife. Not the birds, not the animals, definitely not the bears. It’s dangerous for the animals and it can be dangerous for the campers.
  • There are bear boxes located at each campsite for food storage – use them. Store all food and items with a fragrance (toothpaste etc) in the boxes provided.
  • Only pitch your tent within the rock wall boundaries on each campsite, using the tent pads provided.
  • Park all vehicles on the pavement provided – 2 per site maximum.
  • You may light a campfire but you must not gather any firewood, you can purchase firewood from the campground store or the parks visitor center
  • Take all trash to the dumpster close to the amphitheater
  • Generators are permitted between 7am and 8pm
  • Quiet hours are between 10pm and 6 am – so sssshhh!
Primitive Camping at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
Primitive camping is permitted at 18 sites on the Medano Road. This camping is free, first come, first served, although you are only permitted to camp at one of the numbered, marked campsites. The sites are indicated by a brown post and camping symbol, and each camp site has a bearproof box and a fire ring, additional fire pits are not permitted. Remember to follow all campground rules including storing food in the bear proof containers only.

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