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Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, CO

A unique adventure for your dog.

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    A unique adventure for your dog.

    Special Interest: CampingGreat OutdoorsHikingOutdoor Play

    The Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (U.S. National Park) has one of the tallest dunes you will find in North America and amazing desert scenery.

    Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (U.S. National Park) is accessible to dogs in certain areas. The park provides a useful Visitor’s Guide that includes a detailed map of the area. Dogs are generally allowed on leash in the National Preserve section of the park and very small sections of the National Park. Dogs are not allowed in the dunefield outside the main day use area and the Sand Ramp Trail.

    There are many things that you can do with your dog. Dogs can be taken on trails from the campgrounds to the dunes. It’s better to go early in the morning to avoid the heat. Never leave your dog in a hot car. Must-see dunes include Star Dune, High Dune, dunes next to Mandano Creek, and those dunes near the eastern edge of the main dunefield (may not be accessible to dogs). If you can have someone watch your dog, try going sandboarding or sand sledding for some highly entertaining fun! You will have to have specific sand boards or sleds designed to glide on sand.

    The Mosca Pass Trail (7-8 miles out and back) is one of the best for dogs. The trail follows a creek to the summit of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. For camping, head to Piñon Flats Campground where pets are allowed on leash. You can also consider other lodging options.

    Take a photo of your dog on the dunes! Where did you go and what did you do? Any tips for other dog owners?


    Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

    Location: Mosca, CO | Alamosa County | Colorado
    Activities: Hiking, Camping, Sightseeing, Desert

    TAGS: Camping, Desert, Dunes, Hiking, Sand Boarding, Sand Sledding

    Items Needed: 6 Foot Leash, Poop Bags, Water, Paw Protection, Cooling Vest, Sun Protection, Booties or Paw Protection, Appropriate Camping Gear

    Safety: Please consult your vet before hiking with your dog, especially if you have a puppy or a dog that is not fully vaccinated. It's best not to go when it is too cold or hot. The desert can get very hot so you should also not leave dogs in a hot car. Hot sand (with surface temperatures reaching 150 degrees), cactus spines, unfamiliar wildlife are additional dangers for dogs in the area. Hunters may also be in the area during hunting season.

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