Expert Travel Advice to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
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Top Answers To Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Travel Questions
Answer this1 AnswerIt's open 24 hours a day, but the visitor center stays open until 5 pm.
Answer this1 AnswerAccording to the NPS, "A national park is generally a large tract of land that contains a variety of resources or an entire natural system." Great Sand Dunes was originally established as a national monument in 1932 by president Herbert Hoover, protecting only the main dunefield. It was expanded into a national park and preserve by Congress in 2004, protecting the entire natural geologic and hydrologic system of the dunes, including the alpine watershed, creeks, grasslands, sand sheet, and wetlands. In short, it shelters a fragile and precious ecosystem.
Alamosa is under 15 minutes from the Sand Dunes so would be a good place to stay. But keep in mind that Alamosa is about four hours from Denver. An interesting town near the Sand Dunes is Crestone. If you look at a map, it's on Highway 17 just north of the Dunes. You could stay at a bed and breakfast there. It's also about four hours from Denver -- go north on 17 to 24 to 285. A much prettier drive than I-25 but can take longer because it's a winding two-lane highway. You should also know that you can access the Sand Dunes park from either Highway 17 or Highway 160 (the latter also goes through Alamosa).