Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Today we celebrate the birthday of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, which boasts 750-foot (and higher) sand dunes that cover more than 30 square miles. But the towering hills of sand—the tallest in North America—are just one feature of an eye-popping Colorado landscape that includes conifer forests, alpine lakes, and wetlands. The 85,000-acre park and preserve even encompasses stretches of tundra at the higher elevations, where it edges up against the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Initially proclaimed a national monument in 1932 by President Herbert Hoover, the territory was redesignated as Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve on September 13, 2004, and the size of the park was quadrupled. The park and preserve provide ample and wildly diverse activities for visitors, from sandboarding and sandsledding down the steep dunes to hiking, camping, horseback riding, and fat-tire biking.