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Great Sand Dunes Wilderness

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Area Management

The Great Sand Dunes Wilderness is part of the 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Great Sand Dunes Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.

An entrance fee is required to enter the park if you don't already have an Interagency Annual Pass, Interagency Senior Pass, or Interagency Access Pass. Otherwise, the fee is $3.00 per person for everyone 16 years or older.

Camping is allowed in most areas of the wilderness excluding the popular day-use area. Obtain a free permit and information about where to park at the visitor center. The group size limit is 6 persons. Additionally, groups with livestock may have up to 6 animals per group. Camping is prohibited within 1/4 mile of the Sand Ramp Trail or any park roads. Campsites beyond 1/4 mile must also be out of site from trails or roads.

Toilet paper must be carried out of the backcountry. Human waste should be buried in at least six inches of soil and at least 200 feet from any water source.

Dogs are allowed on a leash only within the day-use area. Fires are not allowed anywhere within the wilderness.




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