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Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve, COLORADO

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Camping Colorado Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve
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Most Recent Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve Camping Reviews
Great camping

I won. Camp robbers (the birds) lost.

Great State Park

We stayed on Piñon for one night this fall. This area has gravel rods and less facilities than the Yucca campground. However, you have large pull in space and more rustic camping. This camp is closer to the entrance and lake for fishing and boating. The sites are basic with electrical and water. The restrooms are basic and no showers. The camp is in a good location to local towns and the highway. This is definitely worth a try.

Great State Park

We stayed here for two nights this October. This is an expansive state park with hundreds of sites and awesome facilities. The views to the west looking at the Spanish peaks are awesome. They have hot showers and clean restrooms as well as RV dump station. The sites have electrical hookups and fresh water with hose hookup is available in the campground. The lake is popular for fishing and boating. They have a boat inspection station as the entrance for ballast water. The park is near the highway and close to the Spanish Peaks area and the popular of La Veda, CO.

Old School Naturalist Place

This place has a different Vibe everytime we visit. Often an International Destination for travelers from all over the World to weirdo Bernie Sanders Types. A mixed bag of People make this place interesting as it is Natural.

Amazing Place!

Under the Stars and very close to Zapata Falls. This place stays booked! Wide open views, windy at times. Gorgeous anytime of year.

Camp with views of the Dunes right out your tent door

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.

An Amazing National Park campground

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.

Great campground!

The staff was very friendly and helpful. We stayed in a cabin and initially only booked for one night but decided to stay another.
Campground is well maintained, clean restrooms and showers, a yard game area, and a nice pool.
The cabin was clean and had electricity! They also had a nice playground for the kids. Walking around the campground had some great views.
This area is a must visit! The Great Sand Dunes National park is unique and unlike any other. My kids and I had a wonderful experience!!! Highly recommend.

Not worth it.

The road up is rough. We knew that based on reviews, however, based on the reviews I expected a payout of an awesome campground at the top with great views of the Sand Dunes. The campground did have views but it’s of the farming valley below not the Sand Dunes. The sites were not very level and while some what spaced out not in any way private. Most were along the road that comes in. 

We ended up going back down disappointed. The National Park was full so we stayed at the Oasis. Not much in the way of level campsites again, but hot showers and a bit more private.

Average at Best

Didn’t stay here but visited it while in the area to review and also scout for next trip to the area. Not sure how the listing can state fresh water when there isn’t any. This is a very basic and primitive campground so don’t expect too much.

Decent Location

While I say decent location it actually does serve a campers needs but if you are this close you definitely make the few more mile drive up the gravel road to either the Blue or Bear campgrounds. They are much better and the lakes near those campgrounds are spectacular.

Absolutely Beautiful

Incredible location and the drive up from the main road is steep but the views are simply magnificent. Great location and the campsites have good views. Highly recommend.

Incredible Views

The views driving up from the main road are absolutely stunning. I was here when the leaves were changing in the fall and I’m not sure there are many places in Colorado more beautiful than up here. The lake is pristine and clear and you can see every trout in the lake. The fishing was fantastic and the campsites were well situated and quiet. Highly recommend.

Beautiful Lake

This lake is in an absolutely beautiful part of the country. The campsites are all situated around the lake and each has a great lake view. Fishing is good as well. Close to a small convenience store and cafe so everything you need is near.

Beautiful

The lake was beautiful! There were several trails nearby and a restaurant that was open on the weekends.
Finding wood was a little difficult but need be, the restaurant sold it for $6.99 a bundle. I definitely want to come back and backpack the Cisneros trail to see the mines.

Absolutely breathtaking view!!

My roommate and I reserved two nights at this spot on a whim the day before we went there. Our expectations were so far exceeded when we arrived. The ranch is super out of the way from many buildings or even many other people for that matter. The uneven ground makes walking around the landscape seem like an optical illusion. We met two gorgeous Great Pyreneese dogs that hung out with us almost the entire time we stayed there! I cannot wait to come back here next year and spend more time in the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.

Fun in the sand!

What a great experience! The front of the campground has views on the sand dunes and if you go at beginning of summer there is a river running through the National Park.

Catch some Brookies!!!!

It’s a small stream but it’s sure as hells got some trout in it! I’ve been fishing this stream since I was a kid, and I still have a good time there. It’s got some decent little camp spots too.

Beautiful Hot Springs!

Property features several natural hot springs and you can hike to a cave. Facility was clean but a little crowded for me.

Lovely place to camp!

Our campsite was hands down the best out of all 11. It had everything we needed: plenty of shade, the creek rolling by right next to us. I loved falling asleep to the sound of the water. There is one vault toilet but you will need to bring in your own water. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. There were several dispersed camp sites just off the side of the road before you get to the campground. They were also alongside the creek but didn’t have much privacy there.

We didn’t get a chance to hike the Rainbow Trail, but we did go over Hayden Pass (we started at the other end in Villa Grove) which was a lot of fun but you must have a 4x4 with good clearance. We will definitely be back!

Needs Work

The North Crestone Creek Camground is just a few miles uphill from Crestone Colorado. Crestone is a small artist village nestled in the pines at the base of mountain range. Crestone is worth visiting on a day trip. It’s about 15 east off the main highway and has some nice artist galleries and gift shops. The campground was a disappointment. It’s very overused and in need of some basic maintenance. The sites are overgrown and facilities are unkept. The mosquitoes are really bad in the summer season. You could hardly go outside due to the swarms. The sites are positioned along the creek up the mountain. They have pit toilets, picnic tables and fire rings like many other NFS Sites. The sites was dusty and hot even in the shaded areas. I can’t recommend this one unless you are out of options in Crestone and come after the bugs are gone.

4 wheel drive required

Medano Pass is the route it's believed that Pike took into the San Luis Valley, and is one of the only primitive roads accessing the valley. The road starts in the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and runs over the mountain and exits on RT 69, or if you want an easy up and hard way down the mountain start off RT 69 and go to the dunes. From 69 to the top of the pass takes about an hour, and you only need high clearance 4 wheel drive for the last two miles of the 12 mile journey to the top. That's not the route we took.

We started at Point of No Return in the Great Sand Dunes National Park, don't worry there are plenty of places to turn back if you get nervous. There's DEEP sand throughout the first six miles, I aired down to 50 from 65, LOL. I figured I'd make it on 35's 12.5" wide, but I can definitely see where as the Sand ets softer I would have gone down to the recommended 20psi. If your going over the mountain have an air compressor to fill your tires when you get to the rocks. There's air at the ampitheater parking lot at the National Park, but no air on RT 69 until you get to a gas station at least twenty miles away.

We made it no issues, buy squeezing a super crew cab, F 250 through was TIGHT! It was FUN though, and my God the place is breathtaking!

Campsites start about five miles in and are spread all the way to the top of Medano Pass. This is National Preserve land, and it is primitive camping. There are fire pits and bear boxes, use the bear boxes as bear encounters are frequent. The sites are clearly marked, and nice size. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TAKE A TRAILER, if you do you won't make it, I promise you that.

The Park, Preserve, and Forrest boundaries are clearly marked. To camp along the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Preserve area of the road you must have a permit, free at the visitor center. I suggest reservations. After the Preserve it is a National Forrest and its first come first serve primitive camping only. You can stay for up to 14 days, as with most National land.

The 12 mile trip up from the Park takes about 4 hours, yes it's that rough. AND you will stop alot to take in the amazing views.

Even if you don't camp, take the drive, it's worth it. You will need high clearance 4 wheel drive, all wheel drive will not cut it here.

Great free camping

It's been years since we started here but for a free camp ground is perfect.

Loved it!

Just stayed one night to explore the area and do some stargazing at Great Sand Dunes and visit Zapota Falls. Bathrooms were very clean, staff was friendly, and they have wifi.

Beautiful scenery in quiet campground

I stayed in this campground in mid July for 3 nights.  The campground is pretty rustic but clean. It does have electrical hook ups which made it nice for our dog to enjoy a air conditioned trailer when it got hot during the day. The sites are a little close together and positioned so it you have a trailer where your awning comes out is in direct view of the other campers. Also we brought our kayaks to enjoy the Lake. The only kicker is you are not allowed to park where the ramp is to walk your kayaks down to the lake unless you rent them from them. So you have to use the many flights of stairs that wind back n forth all the way down to the lake. They are lined with rail road ties sometimes stacked 5 high.   So you have to lift your kayaks above the ties as you walk down. If you have a heavy kayak is almost dangerous of injury.  I feel like if they have a ramp you can walk them to if you pay for the campground you should be allowed to park your vehicle there to do so.

Beautiful mountain lake

Only a few miles from Ft. Garland, Mountain Home Reservoir is another Colorado State Wildlife Area, but no signs saying an SWA permit is needed to camp there so not sure if you need one or not, we have it so we forgot to check. We have also bought land to build on three miles from the lake, we love this area.

There are two sides to camp on, one side has toilets, vault style, but it's more crowded on that side and less room to camp. The other side takes a little drive, but is much more open and has the mountains behind you and the lake in front of you. It gets busy on weekends, but weekdays are pretty quiet.

The water is cold, but you could swim in August if you really want to, not too cold at all. Boats are allowed, and there boat ramps on both sides of the lake from what we could see, didn't inspect the ramps, but know one works because there was a pontoon boat on the lake one day.

The weather changes by the minute it seems, and storms move over the area pretty quickly. If you don't like the weather wait five minutes, it'll change, and I'm not exaggerating. Still mostly nice weather, and normally sunny.

This is a beautiful camping area, again this is a no hook up area so pack in what you need and leave no trace. Try to camp near one of the already made fire pits, makes it easier on you and they discourage building new fire pits. If you don't want a fire then you can camp anywhere you aren't blocking a road.

Truly beautiful place to camp, you can stay 14 days in a 45 day period. RV dump and fill stations are nearby in Ft.Garland, and it's only about thirty minutes to Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Zapata Falls. Smith Reservoir is also nearby and that's another SWA we reviewed, check that one out.

Great NPS campground

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.

Get lost in the desert dunes

Absolutely beautiful Sand dunes in the mountains, it actually smells like an ocean beach and makes you feel like your on another world. The Dunes are 30 square miles and you can camp anywhere in them with a free permit available at the visitor center, just have to hike in past the first ridge aka the day use area. It's tent camping only, and no pets are allowed in the back country dunes. You also need to pack everything you need in with you and leave no trace. The winds blow often and hard, moving enough Sand to cover you tracks in minutes. The views of the sky and stars are absolutely mesmerizing, one of the most beautiful Sand fields in the world. The creek that runs through the day use area can fluctuate in size daily, it wasn't high when we were there, but it was still flowing half way through the day use area. A must see destination if your in the San Luis Valley.

Boondocking in the sun

This is BLM land that's free to camp on for up to 14 days every 45 days. The camp sites are just off a dirt road that leads to the trailhead for hiking to Blanca Peak. The road gets pretty rough the further up you get, but there are plenty of large camp sites on the way up the mountain, some you'd have to home to if you decide to go to Blanca Peak. It's a fairly busy place as off-road vehicles and horse back riding are popular here. Beautiful views of the San Luis Valley, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Mt. Blanca. Definitely worth checking out of you're in the area. No shade or amenities, so bring everything you need with you and as always, leave no trace.