NATIONAL Parks across the country celebrate National Park Week each year in April with special programs, events, social media themes, and a fee-free day. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, along with 422 other park units, will celebrate National Park Week from Saturday, April 16, through Sunday, April 24, 2022. To kick off the week’s celebrations, all national park units will waive entrance fees on Saturday, April 16, 2022.
This year’s National Park Week theme is “sPark Connections” and will also include daily themes throughout the week. Great Sand Dunes has planned a series of 1-hour information tables from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., daily, at the visitor center focused on National Park Week themes to encourage everyone to enjoy their national parks. A park ranger will lead a guided BARK Ranger 1-mile hike at the Blanca Vista Park in Alamosa on Saturday, April 23, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. There is limited space for the guided hike in Alamosa, so call the visitor center in advance to sign up.
For a full list of programs, visit www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/calendar.htm.
With no entrance fee being charged on Saturday, April 16, it is the perfect time to experience Great Sand Dunes. Enjoy a picnic at the Mosca Creek picnic area, pick up a Junior Ranger activity book and badge or patch at the visitor center, hike one of the many trails in the park and preserve, or rent a sand sled or sand board from a local business on your way to the park.
The visitor center and Western National Parks Association (WNPA) store are open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30p.m., and the lobby with restrooms and passport stamp are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The WNPA park store will offer a 15% discount on most store items on opening day, April 16.
You can also save time at the park’s entrance station by purchasing your park entrance pass in advance, by visiting www.recreation.gov/sitepass/great-sand-dunes.
The pass can be used to enter the park for seven days following purchase of the pass. To learn more about lodging, camping, Medano creek conditions, Medano Pass Primitive Road conditions, visitor center hours, and other park news, visit www.nps.gov/grsa.
Visit Alamosa will continue its month-long Great Sand Dunes Appreciation in April by promoting and supporting National Park Week. Visit Alamosa kicked off the celebration on April 1 launching the campaign, “We Love Our National Park,” to show appreciation and promote their national park. Posters and flags are displayed downtown and Visit Alamosa will continue to offer digital promotions and stickers for visitors to Alamosa during the entire month of April. Stop by the Alamosa Welcome Center to learn more about Visit Alamosa’s “We Love our National Park” Campaign.