Driving from Alamosa Colorado its around 32 miles (35min) to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. taking the 160 and the 150. If you are going to camp at the park make a reservation first HERE it can and does get very busy. Or you can camp at the San Luis Lakes Wildlife Area on County lane 6 north. Just outside the park for free, as we did. With a great view back across to the sand dunes and the Rocky mountains.A great place to get sunrise photos.
From the car park you walk out across a flat area first before you get the the dunes. We make up our minds to go left away from the crowds and sand boarders. Most people seem to go straight out form the car park and to the right and sand board. The one thing I like about getting away from the crowds. You can see all the foot prints of the animals that live in and around the dunes that come out at night to feed. Taking photos as the sun moves across the sky can also give you different and interesting affects of the dunes. The photo below was taken using a 15mm. down very low looking back up the sand ridge.
Walking around the dunes I like to wear shoes as there are stoney areas and the sand does get hot at times. Water is a must have item for your backpack.