Great Sand Dunes National Park Increasing Fees for 2018

By Katherine Faz

After completing a thorough public involvement process, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve will increase its entrance fees on January 1, 2018 in order to align with the National Park Service fee rate schedule and help fund important maintenance and improvement projects within the park. The park’s entrance fees were last increased in 2015. This increase is consistent with the tiered fee system in use by National Park Service sites throughout the country, including many in Colorado.

Private Vehicle: currently $15; for 2018, $20
Individual: currently $7; for 2018, $10
Motorcycle: currently $10; for 2018, $15
Annual Great Sand Dunes Pass: currently $30; for 2018, $40

This increase in fees will allow us to make direct improvements to visitor facilities and continue to protect, preserve, and share the special places here at Great Sand Dunes with current visitors and future generations.

After soliciting input from the public and carefully considering the impact of a fee increase on visitors and community members, park management came to the conclusion that this is the right course of action to improve facilities and services that are important to visitors.

We want to encourage those who visit the park and preserve frequently to purchase an annual pass. For $40 you will be able to enjoy the park and preserve all year long. It is the best option for returning visitors. If you travel frequently to other national parks, the Interagency Annual Pass is a great bargain for $80. The National Park Service will also continue to host fee free days throughout the year when entrance fees are waived.

Entrance fees paid at the park are retained to enhance and improve the visitor experience. Fees collected at Great Sand Dunes have supported a wide range of projects including; funding the replacement of ADA compliant matting for beach access, rehabilitating trails and trailhead signs, improving park water systems, replacing failed benches in the amphitheater, providing ranger-led programs, and improving accessibility. Additional revenue from this fee increase will enable the park to continue to improve and maintain deteriorating restroom facilities and the aging Piñon Flats Campground, develop and install new exhibits in the visitor center and improve road and trail signs.

In August 2017, to align with the new National Park Service rate schedule, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve launched a civic engagement campaign to solicit public input on the proposed fee change. During the public comment period, the park received no formal comments. For more information, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/grsa or call Public Information Officer Katherine Faz at 719-378-6341.

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