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Consolidated "Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park" thread - lodging, routes, what to see, etc

Consolidated "Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park" thread - lodging, routes, what to see, etc

Old Jul 9, 18, 6:25 pm
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Consolidated "Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park" thread - lodging, routes, what to see, etc

Hello,

Looking for lodging recommendations near Great Sand Dunes for a family of six. The two places in Mosca have very limited availability through the end of summer. Any suggestions for something closer than the Alamosa hotels?

I appreciate any guidance/recommendations.
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Old Jul 9, 18, 10:02 pm
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I strongly suspect you're not going to find anything terribly decent closer than Alamosa (unless there's something, say, on VRBO). It's pretty sparse country.

The Hampton Inn in Alamosa is one of the nicest I've stayed in over the years. The Holiday Inn Express is also decent, although not as nice as the HIX (although, of course, the HIX's breakfast is better).

And my favorite New Mexican-style restaurant is in Alamosa
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Old Jul 11, 18, 5:57 pm
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Thank you for the recommendation. I'll be sure to check out Calvillo's.
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Old Jul 15, 18, 8:35 am
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The service is good at Calvillo's, and they have a buffet that my girls like very much - mmm, unlimited flan!

cblaisd is also correct that Alamosa is your best bet for lodging near the park. You can also rent snowboards (sandboards?) in town to use for sliding down the dunes.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Wilbur View Post
[b]You can also rent snowboards (sandboards?) in town to use for sliding down the dunes.
Or just get some waxed/plastic coated cardboard boxes to flatten and use. Watch for neighbors replacing doors or windows or buying garage shelving. Much of that stuff seems to come in cardboard that is coated.

TRRed
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Old Nov 21, 18, 6:57 pm
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We’ had to postpone our trip and will head out in December. Understand that we won’t be able to sandboard, but hoping for some good photo ops. Staying at HIX as we have a couple of reward nights that will expire.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 4:33 pm
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We stayed at both the Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn in Alamosa. Both were decent, clean places to stay. The Holiday Inn Express seemed a bit newer/better maintained.

Great Sand Dunes was outstanding. We went on 5 December and there were only about 10 people total on the dunes.
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Old Jun 8, 19, 7:36 am
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Is the Great Sand Dunes National Park worth visiting?

We've been wanting to go somewhere where there are dunes like what I think this park has (just sand like in the Sahara is the best way to describe what i'm thinking).

Is it doable as a day trip from Colorado Springs and is it worth the drive from there? I'm having a hard time getting my head around exactly how big it is area-wise. It's hard to tell from pictures. I mean, it it just a few dunes or is it vast as in square miles? Looks cool in pictures, but I don't want to be disappointed when we get there.
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Old Jun 8, 19, 8:52 am
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If your standard is the Sahara, you're going to be disappointed.
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Old Jun 8, 19, 9:52 am
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It is large enough and dune-y enough that you cannot see the entire thing unless you are in an aircraft. It is eminently photogenic as well.

It is a nice day trip from the Springs, and if you rent a sand board in Alamosa or some such place, you can spend several hours sliding down and slogging back up. Personally, the up-and-down wears me out after only a couple of hours, but if you have kids, you can dig yourself a seat and watch them knock themselves out.

Unlike the sand dune areas around Yuma, I have never seen dune buggies or motorcycles on it, so you don't have to keep your head on a swivel at all times to avoid being run down.

Here is a thread with recommendations about the area: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/west...-dunes-np.html
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Old Jun 8, 19, 10:56 am
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" If your standard is the Sahara, you're going to be disappointed. "

In what way, though? I mean, I realize it's not going to be exactly like the Sahara size-wise, but we wanted to see some dunes that are basically just sand without cacti or brush, etc. The reason I'm asking it in this way is that we went to Arizona a few years ago and we didn't see anything like that.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 3:44 pm
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Correct, the Great Sand Dunes are just that - sand in dunes. Huge dunes of sand. It is great, if you like sand. And dunes.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 11:07 am
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Only suggestion is to mix it up a bit on the drive to and from the Sand Dunes. Leave COS very early via I-25/160. When you leave take 17/285, maybe 50 or 24 after that.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by roma1625 View Post
" If your standard is the Sahara, you're going to be disappointed. "

In what way, though? I mean, I realize it's not going to be exactly like the Sahara size-wise, but we wanted to see some dunes that are basically just sand without cacti or brush, etc. The reason I'm asking it in this way is that we went to Arizona a few years ago and we didn't see anything like that.
If your standard is "a big hill of nothing but sand," you'll be delighted.

You realize there are pics of the park all over the internet, yes?
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Old Jun 18, 19, 6:26 pm
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Yes, I've seen the pictures. I just find it hard to visualize the scope of it. But I prety much get it now. Just wanted some verification of what I thought.

As far as the different routes to and from, I was thinking of doing that anyway. Can you clue me into anything that is worth seeing on either route? I hate to make the drive, then find out later that, oh, we should have gone 10 miles out of our way and we would havew seen "x".

Thanks
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