Hike High Dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park

37.739890,-105.517032 - Search Nearby - Added by Justin Ritucci

Explore Colorado's most unique landscape and photograph North America's tallest sand dunes. Slide down the massive dunes on a sand board or sled and then cool off in the Medano Creek, right at the base of the dunes.

The Great Sand Dunes are one the most unique landscapes in Colorado. These massive dunes are the tallest sand dunes in North America. Hiking these dunes can be very difficult, but well worth the amazing views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. If you plan on visiting in the summer, be sure to wear closed footwear. The sand can get up to 140 °F in the summer months.

Be sure to bring a sled or rent a sand board at the Oasis shop right before the park entrance. The dunes can be very fun to sled down. It slides best when it is a little bit wet right after it rains. After hiking the dunes be sure to cool down in the Medano Creek, right at the base of the dunes.

Park at the lot just beyond the visitor center and you'll be able to see High Dune. It looks like the tallest dune, although it actually is not. There's no "trail" but you can easily wind and zig sag your way across the ridges to reach it. Cross the creek from the parking lot and find your way there. 

Distance

2.5 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

700 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
River
Scenic

Nearby Lodging

Alamosa KOA

Alamosa, Colorado

Cotopaxi / Arkansas River KOA

Cotopaxi, Colorado

Royal Gorge / Canon City KOA

Cañon City, Colorado

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. We also acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Colorado's Most Unique Landscape

In my opinion, this is Colorado's most unique landscape. Hiking North America's tallest dunes was cool. We ran/rolled down the dunes. Go in the early morning to beat the heat and crowds.

Beautiful

A pretty incredible place, with the dunes juxtaposed against the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains. Wander around, and be sure to get up high enough to see the full dune field to the north and west!

Awesome Day Trip!

Brings lots of of water and food if you plan on hiking to the top of the dunes!

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike the Mosca Pass Trail, Great Sand Dunes NP

Adventure

Sandboard in Great Sand Dunes National Park

Adventure

Backpack the Great Sand Dunes

Adventure

Hike to Zapata Falls

More Nearby Adventures