11 Photos of Early Spring Camping in Great Sand Dunes NP

The weekend we found everything we were looking for in the San Luis Valley.

By: Patrick James + Save to a List

Good light, perfect campsites, wildlife and wide open space…that’s what we were after. This adventure started on a Friday morning. Keith, Kimberly and I were in Denver, packing Keith’s FJ Cruiser for a 3-day weekend in and around what is arguably the National Park System’s most underrated park, Great Sand Dunes. Anyway, packing the truck didn't take long...so we hit the road.

After about three hours of driving south, we made it to Highway 150. For me, getting to 150 is kind of a turning point in the trip. That 20 mile section of road leading to the entrance of Great Sand Dunes is full of so many cool spots, big mountains and good views that are all worth checking out.

We don’t have enough time for me to explain everything that happened over the course of the weekend - and even if we did, I think it would mean more to you to just experience it all - so I’ll give you a rundown of the highlights: sunsets on the dunes, great people, good conversation, killer camp food, a frozen waterfall and everything else we were looking for - good light, perfect campsites, wildlife and wide open space.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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