Explore the most popular walking 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!

The first half, walking along the creek, is easy and fun. The second half, walking back on the dunes, is challenging, but so worth it. Scaling up and across steep dunes made for excellent views and was definitely something to be proud of. It was a beautiful way to get the full experience!

hiking
11 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
18 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
22 days ago

Short distance but challenging hike with awesome views on all sides

hiking
27 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
27 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

Just went on this trail this morning! It was a decent hike but very anticlimactic ending. We took the nature loop on our way back down, which adds hardly any milage, and that was probably the best part of the whole trail. Coolviews of the dunes on this end.

Fantastic hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful spring hike! It’s a long hike to the end, but the views throughout were awesome! We saw big horn sheep and a followed the creek throughout. Afterwards we hit the dunes. Made for a great day.

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!

Did this hike in 2013. Mostly you pave your own way up the creek and circling back over the dunes. Great experience on one of the few true dunes in U.S. We also took sleds down the dunes. It was a fun trip with my boys.

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 trail! Some snow coverage but good traction.

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.

hiking
6 months ago

We hiked the whole trail to the end and back. It led you through forests, side of the mountain and eventually to a grassland area. We went in October and choose a sunny day in the 60's to hike. It was the perfect temp! There's a old car hidden in the woods off to the right if you came from the entrance near the sand dunes. Took about 4 and a half hours with breaks and a kiddo.

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!

A short and easy loop mostly through the pretty hillside trees. There are a few nice views of the ridges above on the way up and out, as well as the dune field in the distance on the way back down. Definitely combine this with the Wellington Ditch Trail if possible for even better views of the amazing surrounding area.

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