Great Sand Dunes National Park, a 20-minute drive from town, is a unique geological juxtaposition — the nation's highest sand dunes (topping out at 750 feet) against a backdrop of 13,000-foot mountain peaks. Visitors come to hike, sled and even ski the dunes, and also to camp, picnic and explore the trails and wildlife preserve that are part of this national park. Deer, bears, mountain lions, foxes and coyotes make their homes here, along with some rare species of insects.

The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad's main hub is here. From the town's depot, train riders can head to La Veta, Monte Vista or Antonito over terrain that sometimes can't be reached by any other means of transportation, and special concert, photography and other events are had on the rails each year. You can walk from the railroad's depot to sample downtown's many resturants, many of which specialize in Mexican cuisine.

Visitors should also check out the 18-hole Cattails Golf Course and other nearby attractions, such as the Colorado Gator Farm in Mosca or the Zapata Falls waterfall. The Alamosa/Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge is a bird-watcher's paradise, especially in spring.

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