Great Sand Dunes National Monument was one of the many United States national parks and monuments created during the Great Depression (1932). [63], American national park, large sand dunes on eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, Sangre de Cristo Range, Colorado, United States, Western Regional Climate Center (temperatures), Western Regional Climate Center (precipitation/snowfall), International Union for Conservation of Nature, List of national parks of the United States, List of areas in the United States National Park System, "National Reports - Park Acreage Reports (1997 – Last Calendar/Fiscal Year)", "Antiquities Act 1906-2006: Maps, facts and figures", "Great Sand Dunes National Park - dune types", "Official Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Map 2014", "Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Dunes Among Diversity", "Great Sand Dunes System Natural Features & Ecosystems", "Hunting - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve", "Direct imaging of nanoscale magnetic interactions in minerals", "National Park Service, Land Resources Division, Listing of Acreage (Summary)", "Great Sand Dunes National Park - How to get there", "Great Sand Dunes National Park, Alamosa County, Colorado, United States", "Great Sand Dunes National Preserve, Alamosa County, Colorado, United States", "Great Sand Dunes NM, Colorado - Period of Record General Climate Summary - Temperature", "Monthly Climate Summary - Period of Record: 9/1/1950 to 12/31/2005", "Plants - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve", "Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Plant Checklist", "List of Mammal, Reptile, Amphibian, and Fish Species", "Mammals - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve", "Birds - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve", "Reptiles - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve", "Fish - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve", "Amphibians - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve", "Insects and Spiders - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve", "Accessing the Park's Grasslands, Shrublands and Wetlands", "Great Sand Dunes in United States of America", "How biologists are working to keep the Great Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle off the endangered species list", "Great Sand Dunes Wilderness in United States of America", "San Luis Valley: Where the Buffalo Roam, Again", "S.2547 - Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Act of 2000", "Great Sand Dunes National Park seeks a missing puzzle piece in proposed land deal", "97,000 Acres Protected for New National Park", "Great Sand Dunes Designated as International Dark Sky Park", Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, 66 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Yanks Gulch/Upper Greasewood Creek Natural Area, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Great_Sand_Dunes_National_Park_and_Preserve&oldid=990624504, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Protected areas of Alamosa County, Colorado, Protected areas of Saguache County, Colorado, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the National Park Service, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 25 November 2020, at 15:45. Come for its monstrous sand dunes, but stay to hike diverse trails, splash in a disappearing creek, see a waterfall and watch for wildlife. [41] Sandboards and sand sleds can be rented just outside the park entrance or in Alamosa which is the closest city. [26] Summer high temperatures are moderate with an average high temperature slightly above 80 °F (27 °C) in July, which is the warmest month. Pinyon Flats in Great Sand Dunes National Park is rated 7.9 of 10 at Campground Reviews. Jicarilla Apaches settled in northern New Mexico and called the dunes Sei-anyedi (it goes up and down). Sediments from both mountain ranges filled the deep chasm of the valley, along with huge amounts of water from melting glaciers and rain. [16] Sport hunting has regulations which include not pursuing a wounded animal if it leaves the preserve and enters the national park. The contrast of mountains and sand dunes makes for breathtaking views. [1][22], The Rio Grande National Forest is located to the north and southeast while the remaining forested slopes directly to the east of the dunes were redesignated the Great Sand Dunes National Preserve. [38], Alpine tundra is the highest elevation ecosystem at Great Sand Dunes where the conditions are too harsh for trees to survive, but wildflowers, pikas, yellow-bellied marmots, ptarmigans, and bighorn sheep thrive. Find detailed information on camping and lodging options in and near the park, or link to make reservations at Piñon Flats Campground in the national park. Numerous small strikes occurred in the mountains around the San Luis Valley. In the late 17th century, Diego de Vargas, a Spanish governor of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, became the first European on record to enter the San Luis Valley. Mosca, Colorado USA - October 22, 2012: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Several trails located in the northeastern section of the park lead to alpine lakes high in the mountains. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve entrance sign, south central Colorado. Elk and pronghorn are common, while burrowing owls nest in the ground and other raptors float through the skies searching for mice, kangaroo rats, and short-horned lizards. Fees: $25/vehicle/week. From Denver or Colorado Springs, the fastest route is south on I-25 to Walsenburg, west on US 160, and then north on state highway 150. American Indians and early settlers used this route for travel between the San Luis Valley and the Wet Mountain Valley to the east. Facilities: Restrooms and water spigots in the parking area; picnic area nearby. Two spring-fed creeks in the sand sheet along with a few small lakes in the valley's sabkha section southwest of the dunes create a wetland that nurtures wildlife. [10], The sand sheet includes extensive grasslands and shrublands that surround the dunefield on three sides, from 7,500 ft (2,300 m) to 8,200 ft (2,500 m). As mentioned in the intro, this park is not a one trick pony. Alluvium, or sediments deposited by bodies of water, is the source most of the sand in the dunes. Bison will continue to roam Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado under a plan approved by the National Park Service, but initially the number within the park will shrink. The dunes system is fairly stable as the opposing wind directions balance each other out over time. You may also access these lakes and peaks via the Sand Ramp Trail, connecting with the Sand Creek Trail from the west. Great Sand Dunes National Park is located in the south-central part of Colorado of the United States. Also, the main dunefield is moist beneath a thin layer of dry surface sand. The land includes the area presently occupied by the bison herd, as well as adjacent meadows and wetland areas. Bristlecone and limber pines grow at an extremely slow rate, with small statures that belie their true ages as some are more than a thousand years old. [10], The riparian zone follows creeks through the subalpine and montane ecosystems at Great Sand Dunes. Great Sand Dunes National Park is located in San Luis Valley, a region in south-central Colorado in the United States. [49], In 1976, the U.S. Congress designated the Great Sand Dunes Wilderness—a wilderness area encompassing 32,643 acres (51 sq mi; 132 km2) within the monument. Against the backdrop of rugged 14,000' peaks in the Sangre de Cristo mountainsthe 30 square mile sand dune field, with no designated trailsinvites you on an adventure. By the end of November 1806, Pike and his men had reached the site of today's Pueblo, Colorado. Be sure to check our Conditions to Expect Each Month to be prepared for the time you plan to visit. Only street-licensed 4WD motor vehicles or motorcycles, and bicycles are permitted. , dragonflies, and riparian zones located a few inches of Sand Dunes were Stone Age people who with... 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