Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve encompasses 150,000 acres in south-central Colorado. It is among the newest national parks, after being expanded from a national monument in September 2004. It had been a national monument since 1932.
The park’s standout feature is a dunefield covering about 30 square miles. The dunes run eight miles at their greatest length and six miles at their widest point. Beyond the main dunefield is a sand sheet made up of many more square miles of smaller dunes. Star Dune, the tallest, is 750 feet high. The National Park Service says it doesn’t know how long the dunes have existed but they’re probably thousands of years old.
The park’s elevation ranges from 7,500 to 13,604 feet above sea level (the visitor center stands at 8,200 feet). The park draws about 300,000 visitors a year.