Sandboarding at the Great Sand Dunes National Park has now become one of our favorite activities, and it’s not difficult to understand why! This National Park has easily become one of our favorites, and not just because they allow dogs! The Park really gives you the chance to just explore, hike, and play as much as you want without the typical “rules”. The dunes encompass 19,000 acres right between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado and are the tallest in the United States. The shapes are constantly changing based on weather, making them a perfect destination for sandboarding in the summer and sledding in the winter!
Where Can You Sandboard at the Park?
There are no designated trails, which means you’re able to sandboard wherever you want! You can hike 700 feet to the top of “High Dune”. It’s about a 2 hour, 3-mile hike round trip from the parking lot and provides a beautiful view of the dunes. The ultimate hike is definitely to the “Star Dune” which is the highest peak in the park at 750 feet.
Do You Need to Use a Sandboard?
If the sand is not wet, you are going to have to rent or buy a sandboard. Snowboards, skis, snow sleds, and flying saucers will not slide on the sand due to friction and will leave you pretty sore the next morning. As soon as that board that’s not intended for sandboarding hits the sand, you’ll likely crash and burn. It’s okay…we’ve been there too!
You can rent sandboards at the Oasis Store (between April and October) near the park and Kristi Mountain Sports (year-round unless the sand freezes) in Alamosa. It’s also a suggestion to rent goggles to avoid any eye damage from the sand.
Best Time for sandboarding at the Great Sand Dunes National Park?
You can visit Great Sand Dunes National Park to sandboard year-round. Of course, if you’re looking to really experience sandboarding, go AFTER winter and the threat of snow! All of the attractions are open and it’s warm out! As a fair warning, the sand DOES get incredibly hot during the day at about 105 degrees Farenheight, so make sure you’re wearing sneakers and your pet’s paws are protected.
Another option is to go during the winter and catch the National Park after a snowstorm. The snow melts pretty quickly on the Dunes, which allows for the ULTIMATE snow sledding spot. We went during the winter and only had the options of a snowboard or skimboard. We chose our skimboard that worked better than we could’ve expected in the snow.