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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Great Sand Dunes National Park

Quick Facts

Dunes Picnic Ground

Elevation: 8,000 Feet (2493.8 Meters)
Handicapped Accessible: One site
Reservation Status: Not Accepted
USGS Maps: Zapata Ranch, Liberty




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Dunes Family Picnic Area - 10.98
Copyright: Jamiebea Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Dunes Family Picnic Area - 10.98
The picnic area is located right next to the Dunes Parking Area which is at the edge of the dunes. Tables, grills (charcoal fires only please), water and restrooms are provided.

There is one wheelchair accessible site with a trail to an accessible comfort station. The site is shaded by cottonwood trees. Nearby Mosca Creek flows year-round.

This area also has group sites available. South Ramada requires reservations while North Ramada does not.

Directions from Visitor Center: The picnic area is next to the Dunes Parking Area. From the Visitor Center, follow Highway 150 north for less than 1/2 mile and turn left. Follow this road for about 1/2 mile to the parking lot.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Year-round (NOTE: Visitor Center open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Summer months; varying hours in the Winter.) .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Eight backcountry sites in the Monument; free permit from Visitor Center required.
No
ICON Family Camping Pinyon Flats Campground
No
ICON Fishing Medano Creek; Rio Grande National Forest
No
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Medano Pass Primitive Road
No
ICON Group Picnicking South Ramada (reservations required) and North Ramada
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Numerous trails in the area
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Park at Amphitheater, Montville or Point of No Return; stay out of main public use areas
No
ICON Animal Identification Look for tracks in the sand, especially in early morning.
No
ICON Firewood Gathering Not permitted in the Monument; purchase from concessionaire in summer and from Visitor Center in winter.
No
ICON Lodging Alamosa, Monte Vista and Ft. Garland
No
ICON Mountain Biking Only on Medano Pass Primitive Road; some difficult sandy stretches
No
ICON Mountain Climbing Blanca Peak, Little Bear and the Crestones
No
ICON ATV Riding Only on Medano Pass Primitive Road, if vehicle and driver are licensed.
No
ICON Motorcycle Riding Only on Medano Pass Primitive Road, if vehicle and driver are licensed.
No
ICON General Information Visitor Center
No
ICON Picnicking Next to Dunes Parking Area, Sand Pit and Castle Creek sites
Yes
ICON Downhill Skiing Trying skiing the dunes, even in summer.
No
ICON Attending Talks & Programs Summer programs at amphitheater; programs in Visitor Center year-round
Yes
ICON Viewing Interpretive Signs Picture Point Trail, Montville Nature Trail
No
ICON Guided Touring Concessionaire conducts tours on Medano Pass Primitive Road in the summer.
No



Related Activities
Great Sand Dunes National Monument Visitor Center - Before venturing out to the dunes, stop by the Visitor Center. Here you can pick up information on the dunes and other park features. The center is opened daily, except on federal holidays in the winter.

Main Dune Mass Trail - A climb to the top of the tallest dune (not quite 750 feet from the base) takes about one hour. From the top you may gaze upon miles of picturesque topography.

Main Dunes Parking Area - This is the main parking area for the Great Sand Dunes and it is located only a few yards from the dunes. A picnic area for families and groups is located here and restrooms and water are available.

North Ramada Group Picnic Ground - Reservations are not required at this picnic area and the site can between 50-70 people. Busses should park in the main Dunes parking area. Groups can then walk to the site.

Picture Point Trail - The Picture Point Trail is located at the Visitor Center and begins to the north of the building. It is wheelchair accessible and has trailside interpretive exhibits.

Pinyon Flats Trail - This trail connects the main Dunes Parking Area with PiƱon Flats Campground.

South Ramada Group Picnic Ground - Reservations are required at this picnic area; they can be made by calling the Visitor Center. The site can between 50-70 people. Busses should park in the main Dunes parking area.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Great Sand Dunes National Monument, 11999 Highway 150 , Mosca, CO, 81146, Phone: 719-378-6300

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