Colorado is home to the tallest dunes in North America – appropriately called the Great Sand Dunes, located in the southern part of the state. It is not surprising that over the past couple of years Colorado has become one of the trendiest sandboarding destinations in the states.

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Sandboard @ Great Sand Dunes Colorado
Sandboarding at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve.

Colorado Sandboarding Locations

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Sand boarding, sand sledding, and sand skiing are allowed away in the park on any dune away from vegetation, but you will need to bring your own equipment. You can buy a sandboard online (150-250$) or rent one in a city nearby (20$ per day). There is no sandboard rental at the National Park itself, but plenty of options a few miles away, such as The Oasis Store, Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa, and Sand Dunes Recreation in Hooper. Keep in mind that some stores will not rent you a sandboard in winter or when the sand is wet or frozen (and even if you have your own board, you may want to postpone your trip to the dunes until when the weather is nicer). Opt for a sandboard if you are planning to descend the tallest dunes, while sandsleds are better suited for smaller slopes close to the Visitor Center (and they make a perfect choice for kids!). Dune skiing is still a somewhat niche activity and only recommended if you are very experienced. You will likely need to make your own sand skis as they cannot be easily bought nor rented. Make sure to use plenty of sandboard wax!

Sandboard Rentals

  • Oasis Store. Near the park entrance, 4 miles from the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center. Sandboards and sand sleds are available for rent from March 1 to October 31.
  • Spin Drift Sand Board Rentals. Rents sandsleds and sandboards from March to October in downtown Blanca, 25 miles southeast of the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center.
  • Sand Dunes Swimming Pool and Recreation. Rents sandsleds and sandboards all year round near Hooper, 32 miles west of the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center.
  • Kristi Mountain Sports. Rents sandsleds and sandboards all year round in Alamosa, 40 miles southwest of the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center.
  • Spanish Peaks Outfitters. Rents sand sleds and sandboards all year round in La Veta, Colorado, 64 miles southeast of the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center.

The Great Sand Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes of Colorado are the tallest in North America. The tallest dune, the Star Dune, is 750 feet high and over 8,000 feet in height. The presence of a year-round stream at their base, flowing out of the mountains, is another unique feature of these dunes. Sediments and water once poured down into the San Luis Valley from both mountain ranges, into what geologists have named Lake Alamosa. Most of the ancient lake has now vanished as a result of climate change, leaving behind a huge layer of sand. This sand is continuously moved by the prevailing winds back and forth. The prevailing winds are blowing the sand eastward, and storm winds are blowing the sand westward. These opposing forces are what cause the dunes to expand vertically, forming the massive star-shaped dunes.

Great Sand Dunes Colorado
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve.

Medano Creek / Castle Creek Dunes – Mosca

Sandboarding in Colorado: Medano Creek / Castle Creek Sand Dunes
Girl Sandboarding Above Medano Creek, Castle Creek Picnic Area. Photo courtesy of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

North Sand Hills – Walden

The North Sand Hills Recreation Area is a vast land once used by Native Americans as a bison killing site. It extends for 1400 acres and it’s somewhat unique for it’s a patch of sand located in the middle of a mountain, surrounded by trees.

North Sand Hills Recreation Area in Walden, Colorado.
North Sand Hills Recreation Area in Walden, Colorado.

What to wear


Hanes Men’s Long Sleeve Cool Dri T-Shirt UPF 50+
Hoka One One Clifton 7

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7
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75% Merino wool socks
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Scott Recoil Pro WFS Goggles
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100% cotton shemagh
Read also: Sandboarding Clothes and Accessories

If you are planning to go sandboarding in Colorado, you want to be wearing cotton socks, closed-toe shoes, long trousers and loose, breathable clothes. Avoid putting on your favorite shirts as you will end up ruining it, and be ready to scoop up a lot of sand from your pockets!


Sandboards for Sale

Slip Face Sandboards Diamondback Board
Slip Face Sandboards’
Diamond Back Terrain Sandboard
– 9 ply maple veneer deck
– High pressure laminate base, high gloss
– Dakine adjustable foot straps
– Slip Face Sandboards multi-positionable foot pads
– Swallow tail design

Slip Face Sandboard Kestrel WingTail
Slip Face Sandboards’
Kestrel Wing 127
– 9 ply maple veneer deck
– Low friction base
– Dakine adjustable foot straps
– Slip Face Sandboards multi-positionable foot pads
– Swallow tail design

Browse more sandboards and sandsleds


USA Sandboarding Map

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