Great Sand Dunes Wilderness, CO
National Park Service
The Great Sand Dunes Wilderness now contains a total of 33,549 acres and is managed by the National Park Service. All of the Wilderness is in the state of Colorado. In 1976 the Great Sand Dunes Wilderness became part of the now over 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. In an age of "...increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization,..." you play an important role in helping to "...secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by Congress in the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the regulations in place for this area, and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting to ensure protection of its unique natural and experiential qualities.
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply.
Leave No Trace principles:
The wilderness area is entirely within Great Sand Dunes National Park located in the San Luis Valley of south-central Colorado. The nearest city is Alamosa (pop. 7,500) located about 35 miles to the southwest. From Alamosa take U.S. Highway 160 east about 16 miles and turn left onto Colorado Highway 150. From there it's 19 miles north to the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center.