Dunes Overlook Sand Ramp Trail is a 0.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mosca, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.
Going over the pass allows for free entrance into the park, and best to go in August or September as the streams of that pass are not overflowing, and the weather allows for more time on the dunes and decreased sand temperature.
Nice that the creek crosses midway. Kids did well, dogs paws hurt on the return.
Gorgeous views, the trail does a lot of unnecessary winding and is very sandy. Although the dunes are pretty from the trail, my trip got a hundred times better once I moved into the dune field and began backpacking through the dunes, even camping in the center of the dune field. It's hard work, but the experience is far more memorable and unique. I highly recommend that rather than the trail. Come in spring or early summer before it gets crazy busy or crazy hot, and the streams are still flowing
As another reviewer pointed out, this trail is very sandy, so it was a lot more difficult than I expected. I camped at the Little Medano primitive site. From Point of No Return, it was 4 miles in. It took me at least 3 hours each way with a full pack because of the sand, hills, and heavy pack. Give yourself plenty of time if you have to set up campl. There are great views of the dunes and the valley until you pass Indian Grove. Then it's hills and trees. Both Medano and Little Medano were flowing, so there was a water supply when I went. I got a weak cell signal (Verizon) and there is a 4WD road that runs mostly paralel to the trail. It's far enough that you don't know it's there, but close enough that rangers can get to you if you get hurt. One party per primitive site, so if you want to get a permit (free), you should probably get there early. The ranger will tell you if the creeks are flowing.
Great views of the Dunes right from the trail. Trail head not too hard to find if you go through the campground.
Surreal. Amazing. End of May. Weather was perfect. It did get cold and windy at night. Plan for everything weather wise as it is colorado. We camped at Aspen backcountry site and found our way back off trail the next day.
Also - forgot to mention - no cell phone service (AT&T) on this trail.
Backpacked from the main campground to the Little Medano Creek back country site - about 5 miles, one way. The trail was much more sandy than I had anticipated. It's not quite hiking in the dunes, but it's not hiking on a hard packed trail either. There was little elevation gain until I crossed Medano road and ascended to the back country site, which was well situated. Nice views of the dunes and not much shade. Be prepared for sun, and/or wind (with accompanying sand).