Explore the most popular camping trails in Great Sand Dunes National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Really great trail but be prepared it’s a long one because of the incline and elevation. Took us about 6-7 hours and really is more of a hard as we clocked in around 11-12 miles because we went to the falls first. It was a little snowy in the basin, but the lake is halfway melted. Beautiful hike and view just be prepared!

hiking
10 days ago

Loved this hike. The sand obviously makes it more difficult , but sticking to the ridges definitely made a difference. The view at the top is wonderful, and there's a real feeling of accomplishment once you've battled through the sand.

Lots of camping spots along the way. Saw hardly anyone

hiking
17 days ago

the day that I hiked to the top of the dunes the wind was blowing according to weather report 20 to 25 miles an hour. I just bought new treking poles with the cups to use in sand or snow.the poles were very helpful. After reaching the top I headed toward the mountain up and down the ridges for maybe a mile and fond my way back to the bottom where the creek was located. I am 70 years old and have ridden over 16000 miles on a bike since august 2009. Hiking the dunes was a real treat. Just do it slow and steady

hiking
20 days ago

Short distance but challenging hike with awesome views on all sides

hiking
26 days ago

Climbing up the dunes were a pain in the ass. I wore sandals and some parts of the sand were incredibly hot so be careful! Views from the top of High Dune were spectacular. The trail may be short but be prepared with water and food (and sunscreen obviously) since hiking in sand is way more difficult and physically taxing.

hiking
26 days ago

Challenging hike but so worth it! Take breaks to catch your breath!

This was incredible! I ended up going when they got hit with a snow storm which added an additional challenge to making it up to the top as it was! I could barely see the Ridgeline but when I got to the top the storm cleared and you could see the whole dune field with the mountains in the background! Very challenging but so worth it! Since there aren't marked trails you can make your own adventure getting down (or up) and there is so much to explore! It was cool watching the snow gradually melt off the dunes as I descended! The visitor center is great as well!

hiking
1 month ago

short but difficult trail. similar to the incline in difficulty. But my fitness tracker confused it with a light walk due to the slow speeds.

hiking
1 month ago

It took a lot of effort to carry two sand boards up to the top! The view was spectacular. Sledding down was unfortunately too slow, despite a lot of waxing. Perhaps the sand was too wet? Still had a lot of fun with family.

hiking
2 months ago

Unbelievable views. Just doesn’t get any better. Came in March and it was 40 degrees out. On the dunes felt about 60. Hikes down the dunes barefoot. This was the most strenuous hike for me yet. Just when you think you’re in relatively good shape..

walking
2 months ago

I did this in mid-June during a heat wave, so as others have mentioned -- it gets HOT and your feet will burn on the sand if they're not protected. Super fun to watch the boarders and sledders, even if I thought they were INSANE for traipsing up that hill multiple times. Props to them. Slogging through the sand uphill is a definite workout (again, once was plenty enough for me), but being in a huge desert-like sandbox surrounded by lush green mountains is pretty unique and memorable. I also lucked out and got to experience a surge flow. Plopped right down in that cool goodness on my trek back. Felt sooooo amazing.

So hard. In February the cold wind and sand is pretty rough. The views are amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

Did it on 01-30-18 sooooo hard. Every step you take you are going half of a step back. Summit fever got me to the top while everyone else in my party started dropping like flies below. Its so cool to see how many dunes are still over the other side

Simply amazing and worth every step

3 months ago

It sucks walking in sand especially uphill but how can you pass up the opportunity!? Beautiful place

Beautiful hike! If you feel up to it, continue on up to the summits of Twin Peaks. The views of Blanca, Ellingwood, and Little Bear are amazing!

Hiked it about two years ago in summer, coulndt make it to the top because Im not use to the high altitud. It was very tiring but completely worth it. I do recommend to wear long sleeves and long pants if it is windy, sands does hit pretty hard. I also saw people sand boarding which looked really fun.

Great Campground! The Sand Dunes with the surrounding Mountains is Incredible!

hiking
5 months ago

This is an extremely difficult climb because of the deep sand but it is worth the workout. In warmer months where high socks and shoes as the sand is hot. I summited in about an hour but was extremely winded and I am an avid hiker in in pretty good shape. It is a beautiful place and unique landscape. Medano Creek is so much fun to explore.

Really difficult climb. We did all of it completely barefoot, which had its pros and cons. You get more traction with hiking boots but barefoot is more fun and challenging. If it is a hot day, shoes are a must. In fact, I can't imagine going here in the middle of summer, it would be brutally hot. A perfect day is partly cloudy and mid 50s. Views are incredible!

hiking
6 months ago

I had so much fun exploring Medano Creek and the amazing dune field, slowly working my way up from one ridge line to the next. The views are tremendous and so unique. I got close to the top of High Dune before I had to turn back. It was the last day of my late July vacation, and unfortunately I had a limited amount of time. I was lucky that the weather and partial cloud cover kept the sand from getting too hot during the middle of the day...also that Medano Creek was still flowing that late in the summer. The prairie sunflowers were just beginning to bloom as well. It was truly an awesome experience, and I hope to get back one day to explore again!

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing views!!! Hard going up but all worth it! Sandy shoes make it hard and heavy to go up. Hat, sun glasses and lots of water is a MUST. Dress in layers, the wind can feel chilly at times this time of the year. It was an amazing experience to do it with my daughter before she went off to college.
We did it in the summer months and the heat was incredible. Now in October it is quite different. Windy and cool but again all worth it once you reach the top. No open toe shoes!!!

hiking
7 months ago

Lots of effort, but so rewarding!

Amazing views, exhausting hike. Consider switchbacks when going up steeper sections, along with plenty of water.

Backpacked our way to the campsite right before treeline. Made it to Zapata lake the next day. Did this early june. Snow still present

Beautiful views during the setting sun. Makes for great dynamic contrast

Great Park!

Steeper than I expected but worth it.

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