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.
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.
Like others have said, find a shaded spot. I was there in early September and the days were still warm and sunny. I didn’t need to reserve as the campground was only a little more than half full. Proximity to the dunes was great. If you want the creek experience then you must go in Spring…completely dry in the Fall. There was a lot of deer around and the site was plenty roomy and level. Mosca Pass hiking trail next to the campground and the trailhead is within the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It’s a nice moderate trail.
First off the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, i feel are underappreciated. It is amazing to see a desert that sits right behind the Rockies that still have snow on them. Anyway, the campground inside the park are the Pinyon Flats. This is a standard campsite for a park, most spots are of similar size and offer picnic tables and metal fire rings. There are a lot of spots, almost 100. Choose a spot wisely here as it can get very hot, some spots do not have tree cover. In the busy summer you should always try to reserve here as it attracts a lot of visitor.
There is a fee to camp in these spots as well as a fee to enter the park. If you enter the park after hours you can avoid that entry fee but will still need to pay the campsite. If not you will end up paying both fees which i think is crazy. We only ended up staying in these spots for one night and them moved on to the Zapata Falls campground which is outside the park (i will review that at another time)
The spots are located a stones throw from the dunes which makes exploring very easy an accessible. For a unique experience, head over to the nearby town of Alamosa to rent a sand board. Take a hike anywhere on the dunes and ride them down! Its a lot of fun. Overall this is a great spot, you cant go wrong.
This site takes reservations, but we had great luck with finding a campsite same-day. The sites are very well-maintained, accessible, and perfect for car camping or RV camping. They also have running water in the bathrooms, a dishwashing station, and a drinking water spout. Such luxury! From the campsite, it was only a short saunter into the Dune field (15 min), so this gave us plenty of time to explore the Dunes and preserve. The sites seemed very family-friendly and had ADA compliant sites.
We were only there for 1 night in April during a wind and hail storm. Our site had good protection from the elements,and views of the dunes and mountains. The bathrooms were clean and nice. There is a small camp store near the camp site that sells firewood and other necessities. Outside the park entrance there is another store with more items and rents sleds for the dunes.
Get out there on a clear night and you can see a great deal of the galaxy. Had the perfect sight, right off a trail to the sand dunes. The mountains were the backdrop. Going into the fall season is my favorite, the sand is not so hot and summer is crowded. You can rent a "sled" to ride down the dunes. Beautiful weather when I have gone, but you can still see some mountains with a cloudy storm overhead. Sites are not overly close to one another.
This campground was very nice and convenient to getting to the sand dunes. However we went during peak mosquito season so there was a lot of them. I would definitely return even though a lot of mosquitos!
Campsite was decent as were the bathrooms. I have camped here a few times. The best time to go is in the late Spring while the creek has a decent amount of water. Bring a smooth, flat bottom sled and have fun sledding down the dunes!
This campground was a pleasant surprise. Nice sites with some amazing views. My friend and I got to the campground very late the first night and found my reserved spot had been taken by someone else. Luckily enough I found a different one not that far away. It was well after midnight by the time we got setup. Then the group next to us (all of whom were very drunk) were being very loud and acting like idiots. So my friend went over to their area and told time to please keep it down it is after quiet hours. They eventually quieted down. The next morning we woke up to the most spectacular view I have ever seen. The sand dunes and all there glory were lit up by the morning sun. It was fantastic! The camp manager stopped by later and we told him what had happened. He proceeded to tell us that we could have come and gotten him and he would have happily kicked the noisy people out and moved the people in our spot. We told him it was fine and went to find another site in the non reservation area. We found a very nice (but very sunny) spot. And spent the rest of the day wandering around the park and playing in the creek. Overall it was a good time and I would highly recommend the sites, just be warned that it does get louder than most other areas I have been to. A lot of people use it for quick excursions or overnights so lot of turnaround.
I would advise bringing some shade (umbrella or other) and lots of cool things to drink. Also definitely rent a sled from the nearby shop. We didn't and wish we had. It looked really really fun. Overall it was a very nice park and worth the frustration the first night. Lesson learned on finding (and befriending) the camp manager who is usually more than willing to help you out and give you tips about the part.