You’ll Want To Add This Marvelous National Park To Your Colorado Bucket List

Here in Colorful Colorado, every time is the perfect time to get outside and take in all of the glory and majesty that is our incredibly amazing state. Before you start making your must-see list, though, you will want to check out this iconic National Park that combines equal parts sand, scenery, and surprises. It’s pure Colorado. Check it out!

Welcome to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve; a southwest Colorado treasure that was originally created as the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in 1932 and changed (by Congress) in 2004 to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Believe it or not, the National Park section of the area is comprised of an unprecedented 44,246 acres of sand while the Preserve houses another whopping 41,686 acres, totaling an estimated 5 billion cubic meters within only 30 square miles. Crazy, right? While you’re picking your jaw up off the floor, listen to this: underneath much of the sand is actually water, which is why the area was designated a National Park (to keep the precious resource protected). Keep that in mind the next time you walk along the 140-degree sand during the dead of summer. Oof.

What else makes this area a must-visit? To give a few examples:

Uncover even more unique Colorado outings by checking out 10 Once-In-A-Lifetime Adventures You Can Only Have In Colorado! What’s your favorite National Park in Colorado? Tell us your picks in the comments!

Address: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

National Park to Visit in Colorado

February 24, 2022

What are some fun things to do outside in Colorado?  

Colorado is an amazing state for the outdoorsy type of person. The possibilities here are only as endless as one’s imagination; if you can dream about doing it, it can probably be done in Colorado. There are all the basics – hiking, camping, cycling, that sort of thing – and thousands of amazing trails to do those things on or nearby. Campgrounds and dispersed camping sites are scattered throughout the state, and camping here is amazing even when it’s cold. And that’s not all – in Colorado, you can also try your hand at things like skiing and snowboarding (of course), rafting, kayaking, scenic drives… you name it. In the winter, try dogsledding. Visit wildlife refuges and learn about the amazing world around us. Explore our state parks – of which there are 42! – or our National Parks, of which there are four. There is a reason (okay, many reasons) why Colorado is one of the most popularly visited states in the US: it’s amazing, and everyone knows it.  

What are the most popular hiking trails in Colorado?  

With all those outdoor opportunities come plenty of trails, and Colorado has thousands (literally). Some of our favorites also just so happen to be the most popular, and a lot of THOSE are within one specific, amazing place: Rocky Mountain National Park. Check out the Emerald Lake Trail, which is 3.2 miles and rated as moderate. It leads to one of the most pristine, blue lakes in the country, and it’s well worth the occasional challenges on the way. More skilled hikers will want to try the Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail, which is rated as hard. It’s a grind – 9.4 miles in length – but the views are ridiculously awe-inspiring and unlike anywhere else in this world. Need something a little easier? We got you – try the Dream Lake Trail, which is just two miles long, easy, and just as scenic as most of the others. Outside of RMNP, check out the awesome Royal Arch Boulder Trail. That one’s also tough, but definitely worth it. Interested in hikes where you get to learn about ancient worlds and civilizations? Check out this list of awesome Colorado hikes that lead to ruins.  

Address: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, USA