Medano Lake

OutAndBack • 7 mi • 1800 ft

An easy trail up an open valley to a high lake and access to Mount Herard in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Westcliffe
Length: 7 total miles
Elevation Gain: 1,800 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day hike or backpack
Season: Best June to September
Trailhead Elevation: 9,700 feet
Top Elevation: 11,500 feet
Local Contacts: Rio Grande National Forest, San Isabel National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Medano Pass
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Recent Trail Reviews


I lived in Oklahoma last year when I was on this trail and the elevation was the hardest part of this trail for me to over come. I a few of the switch backs are steep but over all this is an excellent in and out trail great views.


A beautiful area! The hike is short but sweet and there is a great spot to camp on the right hand side just below tree line. Eventhough it was the weekend after the 4th, we only saw 3 other people on the trail and they were just day hikers. 4x4 is needed to get to the trailhead.

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