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Great Sand Dunes National Park


Colorado

Camping

Fees and Reservations

Pinyon Flats Campground is first-come, first-served for individual sites. Individual sites are $14 per night. Size limit: 6 people or two tents maximum per site. Sites fill most nights in summer, so plan to arrive early if possible. Three group sites may be reserved by groups of 10 or more by calling the Visitor Center at 719-378-6399. Group sites are primarily for tents; parking is limited. Reservations for each year are accepted beginning January 2.

Pinyon Flats Campground

Pinyon Flats Campground is located about 1 mile north of the Visitor Center, with excellent views of the dunefield. 88 sites are located along two loops. Restrooms have sinks, flush toilets, and a sink for dishwashing. Each site has a fire grate and picnic table. Some sites have large cottonwood or pine trees for shade, while others are more out in the open with smaller pinyon trees. The campground is open year-round; one restroom is winterized. Campsites have a capacity of six people, two tents, and two cars. Campsites cost $14/site/night. A 50% discount applies to Golden Age and Golden Access pass holders. Individual campsites are occupied on a first come, first served basis; there are no reservations for individual sites. For information on group camping reservations, please see below. Note that the campground generally fills by noon on Fridays and Saturdays from late May through mid September. The campground often fills on weeknights as well, though usually later in the day. Arrive early and try to plan your visit on a weekday to avoid crowds.

Pets

Pets are welcome in the campground. Please keep them leashed and under control at all times and clean up after them.

Bears

Black bears are potential visitors in the campground area. Safeguard yourselves and the bears by storing all food and aromatic cosmetics in the bearproof boxes provided. Try to minimize food odors in your site and vehicle. Do not leave food, coolers, or trash in unattended sites.

RVs & Group Tents

RVs: Some sites can accommodate RVs up to 32 feet in length. However, there are no electrical, sewer, or water hookups. Drivers with RVs longer than 32' will find it difficult to turn corners and should consider the privately owned Oasis RV Park, located just outside the boundary of Great Sand Dunes. For more information, call (719) 378-2222.

Group Tent Camping is available by reservation only in the group loop, located just east of the individual campsites. Groups of 10-100 people may be accommodated if space permits. Reservations can be made for any night in the present year beginning on January 2nd by calling the Visitor Center during business hours: (719) 378-6399. Be prepared with your group name, the dates you are interested in, the number of people you expect to bring, and a contact phone number and mailing address. Group camping costs $3/person/night. Dates in the month of May book quickly, as do summer weekends. Each group site has 7-8 car parking spaces. Groups with more than 7 vehicles or with RVs or pop-up campers should consider the privately owned Great Sand Dunes Oasis RV campground, located just outside the national park boundary on Highway 150: 719-378-2222.

Campground Regulations

Please do not feed wildlife. All animals within the park, including birds, are protected by law. Feeding wildlife is dangerous for you and unhealthy for them. Please use bear boxes located in each site to store food. Tents must be pitched within the rock wall boundaries of each site. Please use tent pads where provided. Do not trench or dig in your site. Vehicles must be parked on pavement with a limit of two per site. Please contact the campground hosts if you have you have more than two vehicles for alternate parking. Fires are permitted, but gathering wood is illegal. Please bring your own wood, or purchase firewood at the campground store, open summer evenings near site #45, or in the visitor center the rest of the year. Trash should be taken to the dumpster located near the amphitheater. To protect yourself, your property, and the park's bears, do not leave it in your site. Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am., and generator hours are 7 am to 6 pm. Please be courteous. Check out time is 1 pm.

Other information

If Pinyon Flats Campground is full, you may try the Oasis Campground just outside the park entrance, 719-378-2222, or San Luis Lakes State Park, 15 miles away, 719-378-2020.

Car camping in the backcountry alongside the Medano Pass Primitive Road in the national preserve is permitted as long as existing camping spots are used and no vegetation is damaged. The road is soft sand in the national park, and rocky with stream crossings in the national preserve, so a high-clearance 4WD vehicle is required.

Stream crossings may be dangerously high in late spring and early summer. During dry periods, the sand may become soft enough to require dropping air pressure by 15 pounds from each tire. Please remember: You must be in the national preserve, not in the national park. The boundary is marked and is located 5.2 miles from the west end of the road and 6.1 miles from the east end of the road. Please use existing fire rings, and collect only dead and down wood less than 4" in diameter. Your vehicle must be parked within 100 feet of the road.

Backcountry car camping in the national preserve is accessed via Medano Pass (4WD road access) , located west of Colorado State Highway 69 via county roads 559, or from the end of highway 150 in the national park.

Backpacking is also available in the national park and preserve.

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Document Information
Source: National Park Service; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20070504
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