Pinon Flats Campground is located in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in southern Colorado. The huge dunes are the tallest in North America and comprise about 11 percent of an enormous sand deposit that covers more than 330 square miles.
The dunes have long stood as a landmark for travelers from ancient North Americans to Southern Ute, Jicarilla Apaches, Navajos, early explorers, gold miners, homesteaders, ranchers, farmers and migrant field workers, to you - today's park visitor.
Great Sand Dunes' wide range of natural features provides endless outdoor recreational activities. The park is perfect for kids, who love exploring the dunefield on foot or by sled. Medano Creek, at the base of the dunes, is a popular place in the summertime. Kids and adults alike love to splash in the cool water.
Many kid-friendly, ranger-led activities and a junior ranger program are available.
Many miles of hiking and backpacking trails lead through the park's forests and alpine terrain, including the Mosca Pass Trail, Dunes Overlook/Sand Ramp Trail and Indian Grove Trail.
Pinon Flats campground offers 86 campsites; all are available to reserve in advance. Sites that are not reserved will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis at the park. The park recommends making a reservation in advance, especially for peak summer weekends and holidays. Private first-come, first-served camping is also available just outside the park boundary. For more information about camping, visit www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/camping.htm. During visitor center operating hours, you can see a park film, experience interactive exhibits, speak with a helpful ranger and visit the Western National Parks Association store. Kids of all ages can pick up a Junior Ranger booklet or participate in the Junior Ranger Explorer program.
Great Sand Dunes are the magnificent centerpiece of a natural system that includes high mountain peaks, sparkling streams, vast grasslands and lush forests.
The campground is situated among pinon pines and sagebrush beneath the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Most sites have beautiful views of the snow-covered peaks.
A wide variety of grasses and wildflowers can be found throughout the area, and mule deer are commonly seen in and around the campground.
Zapata Falls is just south of the national park off Highway 150. A short but slippery 1/2-mile hike leads to a 25-foot high cascade. Simply driving to the trailhead provides an excellent view of the entire dunefield and San Luis Valley, especially at sunrise or sunset. San Luis State Wildlife Area is located at the western edge of Great Sand Dunes National Park. It features a large natural lake popular for boating, water skiing, sailing, windsurfing and fishing.
ADA Access: N
This campsite is located in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. A well maintained campground with asphalt roads throughout, including the campsite parking area. Each campsite includes a level dirt area delineated with a low rock wall, a large metal bear proof food storage locker, a metal fire ring with grate and an aluminum picnic table. There is no water, sewage or electric at any of the sites, although at only $20 a night that is quite acceptable. Plan to pick and reserve your site about 6 months in advance as this national park is very popular.
The Sand Dunes are pretty cool and my dog loved playing in the water. Some of the campsites seem close together, our campsite was an “end unit” and so it had more separation and privacy from the other campsites. Bear bins are provided in each campsite.
We were on site 34. Great views of the dunes. We could walk about 1/2 mile and get to the dunes with easy access to trails right by our site. We enjoyed sledding on the dunes and took the primitive road to Castle Creek picnic area which was pretty cool to walk in the creek.
We were driving up to Crested Butte and managed to snag a spot at Pinion Flats one night on the way up. It did not disappoint. There was a trail straight to the dunes from the campsite. The dunes were visible from the campsite and it was amazing. There were mountains behind the site and dunes in the front view. So beautiful. The campsite itself had plenty of space for me and my 4 friends and my dog. There was a grill ring and bench and also a bear box for food. Will say I got bit 2 times by fire ants at the site. Other than that, great location! We were at campsite 49.
The location of this campground is fantastic, and we were able to reserve a spot in mid-June, but it was the worst wind ever. It kept us up all night and even pulled the rain fly right off of our tent. We ended up sleeping in the car because it was too much. Check the weather ahead of time and don’t camp if it’s going to be crazy windy.
A busy campground, it's very difficult to get a spot without a reservation, and people start roaming and asking if your leaving before 6AM. Some sites are definitely better than others, but beggars can't be choosers. Be bear aware. Always a good amphitheater chat from the rangers. Our favorite time to go is near Memorial day or early June when the river is flowing. A favorite memory.
Love the silence!
I really enjoy staying at Pinyon Flats, of all the park service campgrounds this is on the top of my list. If you get the right sight you will have amazing views of the dunes and surrounding mountains. The sites have plenty of room for the tent camping folks, things can get tight for RVs. Some of the site are pretty close to each other, but spacing for most is quiet nice. The restrooms were very clean with flush toilets, and dish washing facilities outside. Each site has a picnic table, metal fire rings, and bear proof food lockers. Be sure to watch the dunes in the evening as the low setting sun cast shadows over the sand dunes. Get hiking opportunities in the park, but one of the best is hiking through the dunes. Campground roads and parking pads are paved. Campground takes reservations so it can get difficult during the summer months to find a spot if you don't have a reservation. This last visit in the beginning of October we found plenty of open sites for the night. Campground has 88 sites at$20 a night.
This campground has three loops, the first two have sites for RVs, and the last loop is for tents only. There are hiking paths from the campgrounds out to the dunes, and it's only a three minutes drive to the dunes parking area. There are bear boxes and all trash containers are bear proof, they do see bear here so use the boxes properly. It's $20 a night, or $10 if you have an Access pass, and you can stay 14 nights every 30 days. You will need to make reservations if you want to stay the full 14 days, as the walk up sites are few and far between and you'll have to move every couple of days if you don't have reservations. The Point of no Return 4wheel only road is at the beginning of the campground and has camping down it, but that's another campground and another review. There are plenty of trails to hike, both up the surrounding mountains, and to the dunes. The weather I'm August is beautiful, it can get hot so pack plenty of water with you. There is a free RV dump and fill station right before you get into the campground, great even if you don't stay at the park. The camp store is rarely open and limited on items, so prepare before you head here. The visitor center is not far and that's where you get your permits for overnight backpacking, parking, camping in the park. This place is like being on another world, views are truly breathtaking. If you only stop one place in the San Luis Valley make it the Great Sand Dunes National Park, you won't regret it.
This campground was good, solid, the sites were roomy with picnic tables and bear boxes. There were plenty of toilets which had self flushing features and running water for sinks. Also there was a dish washing area, which we love! The mosquitos were awful, swarming like I have never seen, so be prepared. Storms are normal, while we were there we had severe thunderstorms and sat it out in our tent listening to our Midway weather radio, it was scary! There is a camp store, but they have very limited hours, we never got there when they were open. The park itself is unique, lots of fun. Cell service was limited for us, but I think Verizon has coverage. No showers, but this was a great find, the rec center in Alamosa charged 2.00 and 1.00 for each additional person. The showers and bathrooms were clean, lots of hot water with good pressure.