Hike High Dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park

Details

Distance

2.5 miles

Elevation Gain

700 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

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. 

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Know for

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
River
Scenic

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Reviews

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Very Cool

Hard to hike in the sand but the sense of accomplishment when you get to the top is great! Would recommend going here!

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Incredible

We drove here in the dark, and got such an amazing surprise waking up to the sun rising over the sand dunes. Had so much fun wandering around in the sand and the views are amazing. Definitely worth adding to a road trip!

If it's going to be windy make sure to wear pants or leggings. The blowing sand is painful on bare skin.

733 total saves

4.8/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to 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.

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