Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is located in the easternmost parts of Alamosa County and Saguache County, in Colorado. Originally designated Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve was created by an act of the United States Congress on September 13, 2004. The park contains approximately 85,000 acres (340 km², 130 mi²). The park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising about 750 feet (230 m) from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range, covering about 19,000 acres (77 km²). They are perhaps 12,000 years old. The dunes were formed from sand deposits of the Rio Grande and its tributaries, flowing through the San Luis Valley. The park also contains alpine lakes and tundra, six peaks over 13,000 feet (3,940 m) in elevation, ancient spruce and pine forests, large stands of aspen and cottonwood, grasslands, and wetlands — all habitat for diverse wildlife and plant species.
As seen on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Sand_Dunes_National_Monument
Conde Nast Traveler Magazine: 1 of 3 Best Ranches in America for a Real, Working Ranch Vacation; The Best Ranch Lodging and Dining in Colorado | Western Horseman Magazine: 1 of 15 Best Holidays and Riding Vacations to Book Today; Described as "one of the world's most spectacular and diverse landscapes." The Zapata Ranch is a 103,000 acre real working, bison, cattle and guest ranch. The ranch is bordered by the Great Sand Dunes National Park, with the United State's tallest sand dunes, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range with its several 14,000 foot peaks. The ranch and park entrances are just two minutes apart and several of our activities and rides are done in the park.
Located only 1.5 hours from the Great Sand Dunes National Park gives guest a great chance to check out all that the park has to offer. It it well worth your time to plan an extra day to experience the activities in the park. Some of the activities include sandboarding, playing in the Medano Creek, or exploring through the Great Sand Dune National Preserves.
Buena Vista, Colorado
Head towards the San Luis Valley and within an hour and a half you will find the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Spend an afternoon at the Dunes and attempt to climb to the tops. Don't forget your sunscreen! In May and June, bring a swim suit. Water flows like a river right through the base of the Dunes.
A great and easy stop on the way to the ranch if you are coming from the north, Denver or Colorado Springs. The sand dunes are about 1 hr 45 mins drive from the ranch and is a very fun stop! We greatly recommend stopping to check out the fun activities they have to offer. Please call the ranch for more information or if you have any questions!