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Wide open spaces and plentiful wildlife abound at the Great Sand Dunes National Monument and Preserve and surrounding San Luis Valley


Last updated 4/23/2020 at 3:18pm

Karen Aubuchon Johnson

Images from the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Here are some photo highlights from a trip I took early March to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and the San Luis Valley, located in south-central Colorado. It's approximately a three-hour drive from the Fountain Valley area.

Karen Aubuchon Johnson

Eagles are one of the many raptors that live in the San Luis Valley. This is a young, immature, Golden Eagle.

The sand dunes are open to visitors year-round, 24 hours a day. Besides climbing the sand dunes, visitors participate in sandboarding and sand sledding and playing in the creek that seasonally flows at the base of the dunes. Visitors can also explore wetlands and hike forested and alpine trails.

The park has a very informative visitors center. It is a great place to learn about the history of the area, its geology and biology. A variety of exhibits are on display in the center. The oldest signs of human inhabitants date back nearly 11,000 years.

Currently the visitors center and campground are closed until further notice due to Covid-19. Normally camping sites are available seasonally in the park and there are additional camping areas near the park. Visit

See all the pictures here:


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