Sandboarding and Sand Sledding

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Duration:
1 minute, 49 seconds

Learn to use the right gear and techniques in this fun 90-second video with music! Choose Broadband/HD at lower right for clearest video, or lower settings for slower connections. 2017

 
Teen girl standing on a sandboard at the top of a dune
Teen beginning her trip down on a sandboard

NPS

What Equipment Slides on Sand?

  • Sandboards and sand sleds are specifically made for sand, featuring a special design with extra slick base material and special wax; these work best for sliding in most conditions. See below for rental locations.

  • Snow sleds, snowboards and skis only slide on very wet sand after rain or snow. The sand surface is usually dry.
  • Cardboard, saucers, and soft plastic items don't slide on sand; they will dig into or drag on the sand.
  • Rectangles of rigid, ultra-slick plastic or masonite might slide, but are not safe: there is no way to control or steer them, and their angled edges could cause injuries.
 
Stack of Sandboards and Sand Sleds
On the left are sandboards, with footstraps for standing. To the right are sand sleds, with a padded seat and handles.

Where Can I Rent Sand Sleds and Sandboards?

The National Park Service does not rent sand sleds or sandboards. Plan to rent gear before arriving at the park. Specially designed sandboards and sand sleds may be rented or purchased at retailers in the San Luis Valley. Some retailers are a 45 minute drive away from the dunes.

4 miles away - Oasis Store is located 4 miles from the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center near the park entrance. Open spring through early fall; in 2022, opens March 14 for sandboards and sand sleds rentals. Call 719-378-2222. To protect the special slick material on the bottom of each board, Oasis will not rent sleds when the sand is wet.

26 miles away - Spin Drift Sand Board Rentals, located in downtown Blanca, 25 miles southeast of the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center, rents sandsleds and sandboards spring through early fall. In 2022, opens March 4 for the season. Follow link above to website or call 719-379-4410.

32 miles away - Sand Dunes Swimming Pool and Recreation, located near Hooper, 32 miles west of the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center, rents sandsleds and sandboards year round. Follow the link or call 719-378-2807. The facility is closed on Thursdays for pool cleaning.

36 miles away - Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa, 40 miles southwest of the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center, rents sandsleds and sandboards year round. Call 719-589-9759 the day before to reserve a board. To protect the special slick material on the bottom of each board, Kristi will not rent them when the sand is frozen or covered in snow. Closed on Wednesdays.

64 miles away - Spanish Peaks Outfitters located in La Veta, Colorado, 64 miles southeast of the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center, rents sand sleds and sandboards year round. 720-401-8545.

 
Girl Sandboarding on First Ridge of Dunes
A teen sandboards from the top of the first high ridge of dunes.

NPS/Patrick Myers

Where Can I Sled and Sandboard?

Sandboarding, sledding, and skiing are permitted anywhere on the dunefield away from vegetated areas. From the main Dunes Parking Area, it's a minimum 0.7 mile (1km) hike to get to the small or medium-sized slopes; the top of the first high ridge is 1.25 miles. Smaller slopes at the base are fine for young children, while teens and adults may prefer longer slopes near the top of the first high ridge of dunes.

 
Man Sand Sledding on a Dune
When using a good quality sand sled with intact slick material on its base and a coat of the proper wax, sleds can travel quickly down a dune!

NPS

How Can I Sled or Board Safely?

Plan your dunes time for early morning or evening during summer to avoid a 150 degree F sand surface or thunderstorms. In spring and fall, sand temperatures are usually moderate throughout the day, but spring afternoons can be very windy.

While Castle Creek Picnic Area (4WD only) provides close access to high slopes, sledders who can't stop may crash into the firm creekbed sand at the base. Instead, it is recommended to sled on the first high ridge of dunes, accessible from the main Dunes Parking Area. At the base of most dunes in this area is softer sand and a gentler runout to slow you down.

Injuries occur more commonly when sand is firm after rain or melting snow, while dry sand is soft, making for easier landings if you fall down.

Sledding beyond the first high ridge of dunes will make it more difficult to receive timely assistance if injuries occur.

Last updated: March 14, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca , CO 81146

Phone:

719 378-6395
Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center main number

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