Looking for a great trail in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado? AllTrails has 13 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 6 moderate trails in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve ranging from 1.5 to 25.1 miles and from 8,061 to 11,532 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

views

wild flowers

nature trips

bird watching

dogs on leash

wildlife

walking

kid friendly

running

The tallest dunes in North America are up to 750 feet tall and neighbor grasslands, shrublands and wetlands. They were formed by sand deposits of the Rio Grande on the San Luis Valley, and the park also has alpine lakes, six 13,000-foot mountains, and ancient forests.

hiking
snow
7 days ago

Hiked both dunes on 01/11/20. Started around 0945 and the temperature was ~15F. We were the first group on the dunes. There wasn't much wind and the sky was clear so it wasn't hard to stay warm. There was a lot of snow (up to 6 inches) on the lower dunes but it was passable. Minimal snow towards the top of the dunes. As long as you have boots and a couple of layers, you'll be fine. Definitely worth hiking in the off season. Can't beat the lack of other people, views of snowcapped mountains, and rolling, snowy dunes.

hiking
16 days ago

You can really freestyle your way up the dunes as they are always shifting, although stick to the ridges.

hiking
no shade
snow
20 days ago

The dunes were snow covered and gorgeous. There were quite a few people sledding on the lower dunes there despite the cold temps. Once you got to the first dunes there were little to no people. It was in the teens and blazing sub on my hike and layers were incredibly helpful. The only think I wish I had were gaiters to prevent sand and snow from getting in my boots.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Nice short trail for a sunrise hike!

Absolutely loved this trail! We hit High Dune followed by Star Dune and it was about 7 miles long. Hiked on 12/5 and the weather was perfect. We hit some snow around Star Dune but it just made the hike more unique and memorable. Definitely give yourself more time than you think- the sand makes everything harder!

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Unique and beautiful. Hiked on 12/5. Started around 9:20 after a stop at the visitors center- no one else in the lot, and perfect winter hiking weather. As many others have said, there is no “trail”- just pick a ridge to follow. This kind of hiking is totally unlike anything we’ve ever done, and the views from both high and star dunes are breathtaking.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views all around!

hiking
2 months ago

Great Sand Dunes....ahahahaha! So much fun. Not too bad. Took 57 mins to the highest point. Way worth the trek. Sand!

hiking
2 months ago

Hard to find actual “trail”

hiking
2 months ago

I have tried to make it up twice. I just can't deal with taking a step and sinking or sliding backwards in the sand. I made it maybe 2/3 of the way in July. Left near sunset and did barefoot. It was a beautiful clear night and got a few cool pics. Not windy for us and actually very quiet. You really have to be in shape, or young, to do this. My daughter pushed me to get that far. The experience is great; my rating is more for difficulty.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this trail in July. Mosquitoes were bad until you got up and away from the creek. Moderate difficulty as the trail is not too steep and has sections that help with recovery. Lots of wildflowers. One of my favorite trails, minus the mosquitoes.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

3/4 way up the dune you will be wondering why in the hell you started. At the top you’ll be glad you did. Great hike!

hiking
2 months ago

STRONG WINDS. Hiked here for sunset. Got about halfway up before we had to stop and take photos. Zero wind up until sunset. As soon as the sun dropped below the horizon the winds picked up. As some points it was dangerous with approx wind speeds of 50mph - 70mph or more. Making it hard to see or walk against the winds. The temperatures drop about 20 degrees. Please come prepared to battle extremely strong winds and would recommend bringing a headlamp if your doing sunset.

hiking
3 months ago

we hiked up to the highest dune today. It wasnt that windy. you can take pretty much any path to the top of the dunes. It is a good cardio hike.

hiking
off trail
3 months ago

Took the dog and had a great time. There was no one out at Star Dune. There really is no trail, so we just tried to take the paths of least resistance. Saw a couple of coyotes and plenty of birds. I must say, the hike was treacherous. By the end, both the dog and I were exhausted. The sand adds so much work! The views were great, but just the trip to High Dune at sunset should be enough to satisfy the casual hiker.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
no shade
scramble
3 months ago

Awesome day!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice this time of year (early October.) lovely hike at golden hour with the aspens changing color.

I don’t think there is really an official trail up there, but I would recommend to find the highest longest ridge to follow otherwise you may have to wither back track or bear crawl up a super steep dune (which we did) ugh! I did carry a rented board to the top and my 10yo daughter, wife, and I had a blast going down!

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Definitely a consistent incline throughout. You can see the dunes a bit from afar, but the real treat is all of the foliage and wildlife. Did get a bit windy, but nothing dangerous. Highly recommend!

hiking
3 months ago

So so beautiful, and worth the trudging up in the sand. You can go any path you’d like up the dunes, following the ridges along the way (you’ll sink less this way). I’m not an experienced hiker really but I walked it barefoot all the way to some of the highest peaks and ran all around it with my dog, who was having a blast! Could have spent all day up there, next time I’ll bring goggles and a bandana haha.

Not a real trail - just a trek around the flat part of the sand. Good stop to get close to the dunes but would not recommend as a hike

hiking
3 months ago

Terrific hike. Take your time because it is difficult. Lots of fun coming down.

on High Dune Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty tough hike but definitely worth it. Once you hit the summit the view is stunning!

hiking
3 months ago

Really didn't find it very difficult for some reason. Views are cool. wish I had goggles.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

As others have said, there's no real "trail" here, but that just made it all the more fun! We went counter-clockwise and it definitely took us away from the crowds (most people seem to be concentrated around High Dune). The dunes were no joke to hike on! The amount of sand that came out of my boots afterwards was hilarious. We hiked the whole thing in the afternoon, but came back to do a portion again at sunset. HIGHLY recommend! It was absolutely STUNNING watching the sun set over the dunes. The light is much softer and creates gorgeous shadows on the dunes during the golden hour. My husband and I actually hiked with our telescope to the top of one of the dunes to watch the sunset and stayed there until the stars came out. Brutal hike with that telescope but so so worth it. The stars here are unlike anything I've ever seen. Be careful if you're going to night hike - it is absolutely pitch black, so be sure to have headlamps, a fully charged phone to get back to camp and your ten essentials just in case. :)

hiking
no shade
off trail
3 months ago

Super fun and tougher than you’d expect! This takes you away from most of the footsteps of others so even though I did in the late afternoon it felt like I had the whole thing to myself.

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