High Dune Trail is a 2.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mosca, CO that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
High Dune trail a 3.4 mile out and back trac at the Great Sand Dunes National monument. It isn't a marked trail, you just spot it, the "high dune", and make your way there the best you can by following the ridges of the dunes on the way.
Love the Sand Dunes! There's really no "trail" to speak of, just miles of sand and dunes. It's a lot of work getting to the tops of the high dunes, and the expanse of the area makes distances rather deceiving. In summertime, it's good to start out early, before sunrise. The dunes are much less crowded then, and the sand won't burn your feet.
Tough hike, really no trail, your kinda at the mercy of the dunes, walking in sand is always "2 steps forward, 1 step back" bring your "A" game for this, even if it isn't a real long hike
I didn't make it all the way to the top because it got too windy, but it was fun! Be careful when it gets super windy though... that sand can be painful.
Hard to get good footing but super rewarding at the top! Plus running back down to the bottom is a blast too!
Strenuous hike up to the top of the 2nd highest dune at the Great Sand Dunes. Be careful of the sand being extremely hot as the day progresses, and as such this can be dangerous to dogs as their footpads can be easily burnt. No real set route, but it's advisable to follow ridges as opposed to just walking straight up the face.
Up the ante and go on an especially windy day. Felt like being on Everest!!!
Hard but extremely rewarding
The absolute coolest place I've been to in Colorado. Until you're standing at the base of the dune field, it's hard to put into perspective how tall High Dune really is. We hiked from the nearby campsites, and our round trip distance was a little over 4 miles. Obviously not the most efficient route up the sand, but we took our time to explore and walk the dune crests. A difficult climb mostly due to the nature of the sand. You take a 2 foot step and sink back at least half of that. The trot back down the sand was the best part, we were taking long bounding steps that felt like running on the moon. Our border collie couldn't get enough. Our trip was in late October so the sand was cool, it got below freezing at night while we were camping.
This hike was amazing. Sand Dunes is so unique, and getting up to high dune really makes you feel the vastness of the dune field. There is no marked trail, we just walked up and over the first crest, and then you see the next highest dune, i.e. High Dune. We did this hike the first week of October. The weather was overcast while we hiked up and then the sun came out when we reached the top, it was incredibly beautiful.
Difficulty: Im a frequent runner, and I found this very hard. What helps - starting early, we started at 7:30am, it was cool and breezy, and that we live at 6300ft. If you come from sea level and do this, start very early and get ready for the burn, every step is like doing a squat. Its worth it though!
This is a MUST SEE place. So beautiful. I have been twice. Make sure you get out on the dunes at first light. After a few hours of direct sunlight the sand is SUPER hot. There are no trails marked. You have to crest the dunes and keep your eyes on the 14er to your east.
A difficult hike for sure. On steep parts of the sand you slide back making your progress slower. It's rewarding to make it to the top, though! There is a stream before the dunes that you have to cross (meaning removal of shoes or you'll have soaked feet) but it is nice to cool your feet on the return walk. There are lots of mosquitoes around the parking area so you probably want some bug spray!
Awesome, awesome awesome. This is a must see in Colorado for sure. The river in front of the dunes is a great place for dogs and kids to play or just to relax and cool off. The dunes themselves are a work out that is for sure. If you plan to hike to the first peak (high dune) it seems to be easiest if you stay to the right (Check out some of the tracks people have uploaded the ones that go around to the right are easiest). I myself basically went took the straight shot up and it was one of the hardest hikes ever, the sand makes each step 50% harder. But the top is well worth it, and running down without a care is even better.
Cool place. Not that easy walking in the sand but still pretty fun. Just dont fall into any of the deep parts, might have trouble getting out.
Leave early in the morning or evening to skip the sand being 140 degrees. You'll be shocked at how much more dune there is once you get to the top!