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!

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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.

Very short and quite hike - used it to help get me acclimated. Not crowded at all.

This is a nice, relatively easy hike that is suitable for families or multigenerational groups. We started at loop 2 of the campground early in the morning (there is a small parking area near one of the restrooms for the campground). The trail was uncrowded and the views are spectacular. It was particularly nice to have vistas of both the mountains and the dunes before the crowds descended on the latter for boarding and other activities. While the trail is obvious and not all that challenging, there is a small gain in elevation and the base elevation is significant for non-locals. Recommended hike...... However, if you want to go by 4x4 into mountains and you don’t have a suitable vehicle, suggest arranging for one in advance as this provides access to high country trailheads. The road to Point of No Return is sketchy for standard SUV and not passable beyond without something that can manage sand.

hiking
11 days ago

Hiking up the dunes is hard work, but so worth it!! We hiked in the early evening, so the temperatures were perfect and the light was really beautiful. Took us two hours, with lots of picture stops and just enjoying the views. Coming back down was fast and fun! Run and tumble :)

hiking
off trail
12 days ago

We made our own trial to get to High Dune. It’s pretty difficult to follow any “set trails”. The sand moved and there is not any marking. Following other’s footsteps is a good way to ensure you don’t get lost if you don’t have GPS

hiking
16 days ago

after a big summer thunderstorm which gave the dunes a crust that helped when going up them; added to the stream and made for really high winds. almost impossible to face the wind with the sand blowing and made the thin air more of a factor (ran up and down some dunes). Extremely fun and glad I changed into high military-style boots with Vibram and Goretex to keep sand and water out.

hiking
18 days ago

did this one over a year ago It was a pain in the ass hiking in sand but the view from the top is worth it. going up takes forever but coming down is fun you can just run and slide. crazy views up top a vast empty beach with mountains in the background on one side and a vast plain on the other.

hiking
25 days ago

Very pretty trail in GRSA. There aren’t many views to speak of other than the first half where you can look back at the park and dunes, but it’s still very pretty. Nothing too intense except some uphill sections, as a beginner joker who’s not in the best shape it was still manageable. Took a few hours total, bring water and bug spray.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful hike through canyons , flowering meadows and huge Aspen groves. Lots of birds and lizards along the way. Meadows were lush and the trail was nearly overgrown at times. No great views from the end but the blooms and rocky outcropping were spectacular. PS I forgot to turn off the app so I also recorded lunch at Oasis and a slow drive up to Zapata Falls... which wasn't worth the bumpy drive up to see.

hiking
28 days ago

I have hiked the dunes in Death Valley and at Indiana Dunes so I wasn’t really keen on hiking “another dune” but boy am I glad I did! I made it about a mile up the dunes and I waited while my brother kept hiking. I was surrounded by these incredible views across the dunes to small dots that were fellow hikers. Great Sand Dunes lived up to their name! Great facilities at the trailhead with outdoor showers to get rid of some of the sand.

hiking
no shade
29 days ago

Nice views from the top. Trailhead has changing rooms and outdoor showers to clean up after the hike. There is a small store just outside the park that rents sand boards to surf down the dunes. We missed it driving in so didn't get the chance to surf but it looked fun.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

There really isn't any "trails" in the sand dunes, but this route will get you to the best viewing peak with the least amount of resistance. Absolutely incredible views, especially during sunrise/sunset. the distance is short but it's effort to get up the sand. If you're a serious hiker it's fun to climb this trail, then just wander off into the dunes and enjoy the unique experience.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

I hiked yesterday. The weather condition was perfect - clear sky and pleasant tempeture. It was very difficult to make on the summit, but it worth it!!

Well marked easy trail that gives you a nice view of the front dune line. We went in early August and got MAULED by mosquitos. Even with bug spray. If you do this trail, I’d wait until the mosquitos are over.

hiking
1 month ago

Climbing the sand is hard. Much harder than a regular trail but the view from the top is worth it. Going down was a blast too! And so much faster!

hiking
1 month ago

I like the great sand dunes will go back to clime to the top it is a challenge but fun 08/04/2019

This was amazing! The pups loved the dunes, and you can really take them anywhere in the sand. There’s no specific “trail,” but the common paths are a bit more packed down and easier to walk on. We decided to venture off the beaten path and make our own trail toward the tallest dune, Star Dune. We didn’t make it all 750 feet, but we did go up to a dune at about 600! The dogs loved it, and you will too. Otherworldly, very unique experience. Couple things to think about - very windy with blowing sand, no coverage from the sun unless the clouds love you, and the earlier the better...we got there just after the park opened and it was filling up fast. Totally worth it though to have some more privacy among the dunes, and you’ll get better photos without all of the day’s footprints!

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

The sand sheet loop begins right at the park's main visitor center, and leads to some great views of the parks namesake dune field and the Sangre de Cristo's beyond. There are a number of signs that inform about the geology and natural history of the area, unfortunately a number of these are so sun-faded as to be illegible. A great stop if you don't have much time, or just want a good view of the whole dune field. The area is open and grassy with a few juniper trees and abundant wildflowers. We did encounter mosquitos here, probably because it has been a wet year and Medano creek was still flowing in August.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Great views and variety along the trail. 4 stars is for the vicious mosquitoes. Prepare your bug spray and curses (spray alone is not enough).

hiking
1 month ago

The road to the trailhead was closed. Make sure to check with the rangers before planning on hiking this trail.

hiking
no shade
off trail
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Sand dunes honestly doesn’t have that many hikes but this is the staple one to do when you’re there.

hiking
1 month ago

7/25/19 GO EARLY!!! We started around 5am and enjoyed a stunning sunrise on the way up and it stayed pretty cool. It had rained the night before so the sand wasn’t as loose and made the climb a little easier. Gorgeous views from the top. Only saw a few other people on our way up but it got a lot more crowded on our way out. Overall a great experience.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

The trail is well maintained until you leave the park, but even still it's not overgrown to the point where you can't continue on. As most other reviews say, the mosquitoes are terrible. Also, don't expect grand views at the top, because there are none. The best views of the dunes are about half way down the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful weather leaving at 7a from the piñon campgrounds. Sand was still firm from rain the day before.

Mosquitoes!!! OMG! 7/23/19 call ahead.

hiking
no shade
off trail
1 month ago

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Did this as a sunrise hike, started at 4 AM and made it to the top by 6 AM with some breaks. Tough stuff!! Every step feels like you are taking 3 due to the sand. Pretty spectacular views and sunrise was great. We had the entire dune to ourselves.

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