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There are no lodging or dining facilities in the park, so, except for Great Sand Dunes Lodge, your base for exploring Great Sand Dunes will likely be Alamosa, which has motels and a variety of restaurants. Reliable chains in Alamosa include the Best Western Alamosa Inn, 2005 Main St. (tel. 719/589-2567), with double rates of $73 to $95; Comfort Inn, 6301 U.S. 160 (tel. 719/587-9000), charging $80 to $125 double; Days Inn, 223 Santa Fe Ave. (tel. 719/589-9037), with rates for two of $63 to $86; Holiday Inn Express, 3418 Mariposa St. (tel. 719/589-4026), with double rates of $119 to $141; and Super 8, 2505 W. Main St. (tel. 719/589-6447), charging $69 to $104 double. Highest rates are in summer.

Camping

The shady Pinyon Flats Campground, with an abundance of pinyon and juniper trees, offers great views of the dunes and nearby mountains. It has 88 sites on two loops and is open year-round. Cost is $20 per night. There are picnic tables, fire grates, flush toilets, and drinking water, but no showers or RV hookups. Campsites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis on loop 1, but can be reserved for loop 2 through the National Recreation Reservation System (tel. 877/444-6777; www.recreation.gov). Backcountry camping is permitted at seven designated sites along the Sand Ramp Trail and in the national preserve, with a free backcountry permit available at the visitor center. Backcountry vehicular camping along the Medano Pass Primitive Road is also permitted at designated sites, on a first-come, first-served basis. This road can be driven only with high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles. There are also commercial campgrounds with showers and RV hookups in Alamosa; get details from the Alamosa Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.