High Dune

Alamosa, Colorado 81101

High Dune

High Dune Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A popular, sandy ridge walk to the highest dunes in North America. Even though this is usually done as a short hike, there are no trails or route markers. It can be harder than anticipated if the steady winds are stronger than usual or if the weather is hot and dry.

Bring plenty of water and a windbreaker even during the best of weather. These dune hikes can be most enjoyable early and late in the day when the low light of the sun reveals the beautiful details of the dune structure."

High Dune Trip Reports

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This is an enjoyable family hike up the great sand dunes. There is not a specific trail, but ridges leading up to the top reflect various paths you may want to take to the high dune. The views of both the dunes to the West and the Sangre De Cristo range to the North and East are amazing. Take your camera. If you can hike the dunes as the sun rises over the Sangre De Cristo's, you will have some special photo opportunities for the sun rising on the dunes. The lighting will be perfect. For families who are snow skiing Colorado during the Spring, this is a perfect stop and the best time of year to hike the dunes. The sand is warm, but not uncomfortable. I would not recommend hiking the dunes during the summer months as the sand can become extremely hot. Dress loosely for this hike. Carry water. Plan on having a change of clothes at your car when you return, because you will have sand in every crevasse of your body. It is a trip we highly recommend and one every family should experience at least once in a lifetime. Our family has enjoyed this hike twice now.
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AMAZING!!! It took about 1.5 hrs to get to top. Even on a wkend, hardly anyone there...we had the top to ourselves for a good 30 - 45 mins. Take lots of water & munchies in a pack & have "lunch" on top (just take care w/trash). Amazing views of the entire dune field & mountain range. Coming down is as much fun as going up. Another suggestion is to go out at night with a blanket to star gaze...wouldn't recommend going all the way to high dune...just far enough in to let it be you, stars & sand.

High Dune Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
400 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Day Hike
Best spring and fall
8,100 feet
Trailhead Elevation
8,691 feet
Top Elevation
Great Sand Dunes National Monument
Local Contacts
USGS Zapata Ranch
Local Maps