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Top Tent Camping near Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve

Looking for the best options for tent camping near Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve? Finding a place to camp in Colorado with your tent has never been easier. Each spot offers quick access to one or more of Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve, Colorado's most popular destinations.

Best Tent Camping Sites Near Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve, CO (91)

    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park

    1.

    Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park

    86 Reviews
    365 Photos
    660 Saves
    Gardner, Colorado

    Overview

    Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is in the San Luis Valley of south-central Colorado at an elevation of 8,175 feet. The dunes lie on the eastern edge of the valley at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Range. The dunefield is part of the nearly 150,000 total acres of the park and preserve that also protects alpine lakes, tundra, six peaks over 13,000 feet, ancient spruce and pine forests, large stands of aspen and cottonwood, grasslands, and wetlands. The park is part of a fragile, dynamic system that influences and sustains the tallest dunes in North America. President Herbert Hoover established the park unit as a national monument by presidential proclamation on March 17, 1932 through the Antiquities Act. The Works Progress Administration constructed the Superintendent___s Residence, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But otherwise, GRSA did not see a great deal of development during the New Deal. Park development did not occur in earnest until Mission 66. During this period, the NPS was able to construct a Visitor Center, the Pinon Flat Campground (88 sites), a picnic area, five comfort stations, six single family residences and a triplex, while also building or improving roads and trails through the park. The Visitor Center shows the motivation of the Western Office of Design and Construction to configure designs to corresponding regions using principles of ___regional modernism.___ Built in the Pueblo Revival style, the Visitor Center mimics adobe construction through modern materials and forms blended with traditional materials and forms seen during the CCC-era in Cecil Doty___s work. Following Mission 66, Congress designated nearly 91% of the monument as wilderness in 1976, which certainly limited the park___s ability to further develop visitor and administrative facilities. GRSA became a national park and preserve in 2000, which also included a transfer of land from the Rio Grande National Forest.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.

    Recreation

    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.

    Facilities

    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.

    Natural Features

    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.

    Nearby Attractions

    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.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Rules and Reservation Policies__

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group

    $80 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground

    2.

    Zapata Falls Campground

    66 Reviews
    251 Photos
    688 Saves
    Blanca, Colorado

    Overview

    A short drive up the gravel road that leads to the Bureau of Land Management___s Zapata Falls Campground (CG) will let visitors to the area see the San Luis Valley and Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve from a whole new perspective. The campground offers bird___s-eye views of the valley floor below, the San Juan Mountains to the west, the adjacent Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and several 14er___s and many other towering peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range that Zapata Falls CG sits on ___ not to mention spectacular sunrises, sunsets and night skies!____ Zapata Falls CG has 23 single campsites, 1 group site and 1 camp host site nestled among pi__on pines along two one-mile long loops. The sites on one loop are designed for tent campers. Parking spurs on the second loop vary a little in length but in general can handle RVs, towed campers, or other configurations of vehicles up to about 50 feet long.____ A new trailhead in the campground supplies a link to the South Zapata Creek Trail and the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. A second trail, next door to the campground in the day-use area, leads visitors on a mildly steep half-mile hike to Zapata Falls, which gives the campground its name.

    Recreation

    Zapata Falls Recreation Area is a destination known for its waterfall viewing and sweeping vistas of the San Luis Valley, its soaring mountain ranges, and the adjacent Great Sand Dunes National Park. From the waterfall, the trail continues onto the Rio Grande National Forest, for those seeking a backcountry experience in the high country above and the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.__ Recreation Sites ___ Standard Nonelectric ___ Rv Nonelectric ___ Group Tent Only Area Nonelectric ___ Overnight

    Facilities

    ___ Road signs from highway to Recreation Area. ___ Improved gravel roads in Recreation Area (no pavement). ___ No public drinking water system. ___ 6 vault (or pit-type) toilets. ___ Trash bins throughout campground and day-use areas. ___ 23 Individual sites (11 Tent, 12 RV, 1 Group Tent, 1 CG Host Site, 7 Picnic sites. ___ Standard campground amenities-table, tent pads, fire ring, food storage locker, parking. ___ Interpretive, informational, and directional signs. ___ Trailhead and overflow parking areas. ___ Foot and horse trails. ___ All facilities open year-round. ___ Cell phone service is good.

    Natural Features

    Zapata Falls Special Recreation Management Area The Zapata Falls Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) is rich in history and geology and offers opportunities to hike, camp, mountain bike and view spectacular scenery. Zapata Falls and the 628 acres surrounding them are State Trust Lands owned by the Colorado State Land Board and are also a designated Colorado Natural Area. They are cooperatively managed with the Bureau of Land Management. History The name ___Zapata___ is the Spanish word for shoe and is tied to the history of settlement in the San Luis Valley. In 1864, Mexican families established the community of Zapata at the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and raised sheep and other livestock. In the 1870s, cattleman consolidated land holdings and established one of the San Luis Valley___s first and largest cattle ranches know as Zapata Ranch, which remains an active ranch today.__ Geology Zapata Falls SRMA perches on the edge of an active rift valley. The San Luis Valley was formed when geologic activity along the Rio Grande Rift, a giant crack in the earth___s top layers, caused the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains to rise and the flat plain of the San Luis Valley to sink. Bedrock lies 5,000 to 13,000 feet below the valley floor, beneath layers of gravel, soil, and water. Approximately two million years ago, alpine glaciers inched down the steep slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Water flowing from the glacier and snowfields in the valley above found a weak spot near the end of a moraine ___ a huge rock pile deposited thousands of years ago by a glacier. For thousands of years, water has carved its path, forming Zapata Falls. Don___t Take the Plunge at Zapata Falls The cold waters of South Zapata Creek drop more than 25 feet through a narrow, rocky canyon. Please use extreme caution when hiking or wading around the base of Zapata Falls. In spring and summer, the water is cold, the current may be strong, and the rocks are slippery. In winter, climbing to the base of the falls is a slick proposition. Zapata Creek freezes into a sheet of ice blanketed by snow. Beware, the ice may not be thick enough to support your weight. There is no view of the falls from above; trying to climb the rocky walls is dangerous to you and to people below you. The falls are home to the black swift, a rare and elusive bird that nests only in the misty reaches of waterfalls. Stay on the trails to keep from disturbing the birds nesting in the cliffs.__

    Nearby Attractions

    Zapata Falls Trail__ To reach Zapata Falls, you will need to take a short but arduous hike to Zapata Creek. The falls are upstream from where the trail meets the creek. The only way to view the falls is to get your feet wet by wading carefully upstream to the base of the falls. Length: 1/2 mile each way Elevation: 9,000 to 9,400 feet Connections: South Zapata Lake Trail (U.S. Forest Service Trail #852)____ Other Nearby Attractions: ___ NPS-Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.____ ___ USFS-Rio Grande National Forest and Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. ___ BLM-Blanca Wetlands Recreation Area. ___ USFWS-Baca and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuges. ___ Great Sand Dunes Oasis-Restaurant, gift shop, and lodge (near GRSA Park entrance). ___ Ft. Garland Museum and Cultural Center. ___ Colorado Gators Reptile Park. ___ UFO Watchtower. ___ Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool. Other Nearby Campgrounds: Pinyon Flats CG, Great Sand Dunes NPP

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis

    3.

    Great Sand Dunes Oasis

    49 Reviews
    132 Photos
    368 Saves
    Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve, Colorado
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $25 - $169 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation

    4.

    Sand Dunes Recreation

    25 Reviews
    65 Photos
    148 Saves
    Mosca, Colorado

    Sand Dunes offers RV spots, tent sites and cabins. Located 25 minutes away from the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  Olympic size hot spring pool, 25 person hot tub, gift shop, 2 restaurants, 21+ Adults only area, The Greenhouse featuring The Steel Box Bar and small plates menu.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground

    5.

    Mosca Campground

    23 Reviews
    79 Photos
    121 Saves
    Mosca, Colorado

    CPW is no longer accepting reservations as the rules for camping have changed. Camping sites in the campground are now walk-in only (first come, first served). ​ Campers will need to plan to bring their own potable water, ice, and firewood. CPW provides free electrical hook-ups at some sites and will continue to do so until costs become prohibitive. Please be judicious in your use of electricity so that we can continue to provide this service for no additional cost.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
  1. 6.

    Rabbit Hole Ranch

    12 Reviews
    71 Photos
    138 Saves
    Mosca, Colorado

    Camp in the San Luis Valley below snow-capped mountains and surrounded by sage brush and cacti in this high alpine desert. Nestled between the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains at 7500’ in elevation, this dispersed campsite gives you magnificent views and a feeling of peaceful privacy.

    Easy access to Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mt. Blanca, Zapata Falls, and Hooper Hot Springs.

    This area is great for photography, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and solitude.

    This place gets busy on holidays but we’ll find a place for you!

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • Tents
    • Dispersed

    $30 - $44 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Alamosa KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamosa KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamosa KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamosa KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamosa KOA
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamosa KOA

    7.

    Alamosa KOA

    17 Reviews
    62 Photos
    63 Saves
    Alamosa, Colorado

    Nestled between the breathtaking San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains at 7,550 feet, the San Luis Valley is your gateway to adventure. This KOA is near the golden ridges of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, where you can hike dunes up to 750 feet tall. It's also at the base of Colorado's fourth tallest mountain, 14,345-foot Blanca Peak.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Alvarado Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Alvarado Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Alvarado Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Alvarado Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Alvarado Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Alvarado Campground

    8.

    Alvarado Campground

    14 Reviews
    32 Photos
    128 Saves
    Westcliffe, Colorado

    Overview

    Alvarado Campground, located at an elevation of 9,000 ft., is a prime location for accessing easy to challenging hikes in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. The variety of trails lead to high elevation lakes, picturesque waterfalls, and a number of stunning scenic overlooks. Alvarado is designed for a range of campers, with facilities for tent, RV and equestrian campers. Pike-San Isabel National Forests include over a million acres of wilderness and over half of Colorado's mountain peaks that reach above 14,000 feet.

    Recreation

    Near the campground are several trailheads that provide visitors with a variety of recreational opportunities. All trails are open for horseback riding and hiking. The Rainbow Trail is a premier ATV and motorcycle trail. The non-motorized Comanche and Venable Trails lead into the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness where waterfalls and alpine lakes may be enjoyed.

    Facilities

    Alvarado is divided into three unique areas. The lower level accommodates tents and RVs, the upper level is designed for walk-in tent campers, and part of the middle section caters to equestrian campers. There are no corrals but there is space to put portable corrals for horses. Parking aprons are dirt and gravel. Tent pads and lantern posts are located in the lower campsites only.

    Natural Features

    Alvarado is perched on the side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains among sweet smelling ponderosa pine, aspen, lodgepole and gambel oak trees. Some sites offer views of the Wet Mountain Valley below while others sit beside Alvarado Creek. The campground is within reach of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, which spans 226,455 acres with 60 alpine lakes, 400 miles of streams and over 400 miles of trails to explore. Large aspen stands visible in the area today are a result of fires set in the early 1900's to clear pasture land, expose minerals and produce charcoal.

    Nearby Attractions

    Explore the Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway that takes drivers through the Wet Mountains and provides spectacular views of 22 peaks, all within the San Isabel National Forest.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Cancellations Individual Campsites: Cancellations up to 2 days before a reservation start date incur a $10.00 cancellation fee.__ A visitor who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee including tax and applicable add-on for a campsite. Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee. No-Shows A no-show visitor is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date. No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's rate, taxes and applicable add-on for a campsite.____ Refunds Visitors may submit a refund request through their Recreation.gov profile within 7 days of the end date of their reservation. Refunds will not be issued after the 7 days has ended. Refunds for debit or credit card payments will be issued as a credit to the original bank or credit card used to pay. For check or cash purchases, Recreation.gov will mail a Treasury check for refunds of cash, check, or money order payments to the address associated with the reservation. Treasury check refunds may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive.__ In the event of an emergency closure, the Recreation.gov team or facility manager will refund all fees and will attempt to notify you using the contact information within the Recreation.gov visitor profile.

    • Pets
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    • Equestrian

    $27 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Lake Campground - Temporarily Closed
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Lake Campground - Temporarily Closed
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Lake Campground - Temporarily Closed
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Lake Campground - Temporarily Closed
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Lake Campground - Temporarily Closed
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Lake Campground - Temporarily Closed

    9.

    Blue Lake Campground - Temporarily Closed

    36 Reviews
    130 Photos
    187 Saves
    La Veta, Colorado

    Overview

    Blue Lake Campground is located in the beautiful San Isabel National Forest at an elevation of 10,500 ft. Views of the nearby Culebra Range Mountains with aspen and spruce forests offer campers a genuine Colorado experience.

    Recreation

    A well-marked trail system between Bear Lake and Blue Lake is open to foot and horse traffic. Across the road from the campground FSR 436, a rough jeep road, provides access to Trinchera Peak where Big Horn Sheep are often seen.

    Facilities

    A well-marked trail system between Bear Lake and Blue Lake is open to foot and horse traffic. Across the road from the campground FSR 436, a rough jeep road, provides access to Trinchera Peak where Big Horn Sheep are often seen.

    Natural Features

    A tributary of the Cuchara River runs through the campground. Blue Lake is 1/2 mile from the campground, and Bear Lake is one mile away. Both of these small lakes are stocked several times during the summer providing for good fishing.

    Nearby Attractions

    The nearby mountain town of Cuchara offers shopping and visitor information. The town of La Veta offers a grocery store, gas stations, and shops. The Spanish Peaks Wilderness, 14 miles from the campground, is a popular hiking destination.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Cancellations Individual Campsites: Cancellations up to 2 days before a reservation start date incur a $10.00 cancellation fee.__ A visitor who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee including tax and applicable add-on for a campsite. Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee. No-Shows A no-show visitor is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date. No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's rate, taxes and applicable add-on for a campsite.____ Refunds Visitors may submit a refund request through their Recreation.gov profile within 7 days of the end date of their reservation. Refunds will not be issued after the 7 days has ended. Refunds for debit or credit card payments will be issued as a credit to the original bank or credit card used to pay. For check or cash purchases, Recreation.gov will mail a Treasury check for refunds of cash, check, or money order payments to the address associated with the reservation. Treasury check refunds may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive.__ In the event of an emergency closure, the Recreation.gov team or facility manager will refund all fees and will attempt to notify you using the contact information within the Recreation.gov visitor profile.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Standard (Tent/RV)

    $24 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from UFO Watchtower
    Camper-submitted photo from UFO Watchtower
    Camper-submitted photo from UFO Watchtower
    Camper-submitted photo from UFO Watchtower
    Camper-submitted photo from UFO Watchtower
    Camper-submitted photo from UFO Watchtower

    10.

    UFO Watchtower

    11 Reviews
    18 Photos
    80 Saves
    Mosca, Colorado
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • RVs

    $15 / night

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