Great Sand Dunes National Park

Top choice in Southeast Colorado

Landscapes collide in a shifting sea of sand at Great Sand Dunes National Park, making you wonder whether a spaceship has whisked you to another planet. The 30-sq-mile dune park – the tallest sand peak rises 700ft above the valley floor – is squeezed between the jagged 14,000ft peaks of the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains and the flat, arid scrub-brush of the San Luis Valley.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southeast Colorado attractions

1. San Luis State Wildlife Area

13.84 MILES

This state wildlife area is a patch of bleak terrain on the edge of the Great Sand Dunes National Park, where dunes covered with saltbush and rabbitbrush...

2. Blanca Wetlands

17.65 MILES

The Bureau of Land Management has restored the wildlife habitat at Blanca Wetlands, northeast of Alamosa. Activities include fishing for bass or trout in…

3. UFO Watchtower

21.83 MILES

Don't panic! The visiting aliens are harmless. Or mostly harmless anyway. And if you're eager for a glimpse (or perhaps want to leave an offering for a…

4. Fort Garland Museum

22.93 MILES

A restoration of the fort's buildings and exhibits are maintained by the Colorado Historical Society. A good stop for visitor information.

5. Silver Cliff Museum

26.74 MILES

This small museum is housed in a former town hall and fire station, built in 1879. You can view relics and photographs of regional history. It's located…

6. Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge

27.06 MILES

This wildlife refuge on the banks of the Rio Grande is a special spot, and will give you some idea of what the valley must have looked like before it was…

7. San Luis Valley Museum

27.67 MILES

Located behind the Chamber Depot, this museum has a small but well-arranged collection of ‘then and now’ photographs and artifacts from early farm life in…