Mountain peaks, sand, and water - that's Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado, near Alamosa.
"Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is nothing short of a natural wonder even among a diverse terrain of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes and tundra. ... with views along the way of many of Colorado’s famous 14ers (mountains exceeding 14,000 feet above sea level).
None of Colorado’s famed 14ers lies within the park, though—park elevations range from 7,515 feet to 13,604 feet above sea level. Still, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring scenery. If it weren’t for the towering alpine peaks in every direction, you might imagine you’re lost in the Arabian Desert. ... In early spring to late summer (the only months water flows through the area), activities include skimboarding (which is sort of like surfing in very shallow water) and building sand castles on the shore of Medano Creek. After traversing the creek, you can hike up the dunes to “sand-sled” down, or hike above tree-line into wilderness.
Yet with all these options, the park offers exceptional solitude and quiet and, according to the National Park Service website, some consider it to be the quietest national park in the 48 contiguous United States."
There's lots of area info and a free travel planner at www.alamosa.org
"The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad excursion train rides take you through breathtaking mountain valleys and passes through charming and historic western towns from the heart of the San Luis Valley. See Colorado's unspoiled territory as it was centuries ago. Relive the golden age of railroads and discover a Colorado few get to see.
Excursion trains offer a great seat any day of the week. Pick the class of service and prepare to discover a ride full of train history, mining tales, wildlife sightings, and geology. Come see why USA Today named the RGSRR a Top Ten Ride."
"Piñon Flats is a National Park Service campground located one mile north of the Visitor Center. It is open April through October each year." See the campground details at the link below.
"The campground is situated among pinon pines and sagebrush beneath the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Most sites have beautiful views of the snow-covered peaks.
A wide variety of grasses and wildflowers can be found throughout the area, and mule deer are commonly seen in and around the campground."