Mosca Pass Trail Professional Review and Guide
"This is an easy climb to a high pass on the crest of the range, with views of the San Luis and Wet Mountain Valleys. Camping areas are are available throughout much of the valley. A backcountry permit is required. From the Mosca Pass Trailhead on the west side of the range, Trail 883 starts at the Montville self-guided trail. Follow it to the upper bridge crossing and then go east along the trail on the north side of the creek.
Climb up the narrow and steep-walled Mosca Creek valley for about 2.0 miles. For the last mile to the top of the pass, the valley becomes broader with some open meadows, and the grade of the trail becomes flatter. Views of the dunes and the San Luis Valley to the west become more and more impressive as you approach the pass."
--Jason Moore, Revised by Lee Hart, Hiking Colorado's Sangre de Cristos and Great Sand Dunes (Falcon Guides).
This was a very enjoyable hike, and it was very steep in places. There are a few points where you can climb onto rocks and get a great view of the dunes and Medano Creek. According to the National Park info, the hike is actually 3.5 miles one way. If you continue on a ways (maybe another 1/4 mile) beyond the fence at the end of the trail, then turn right and continue up the dirt road (before you start going downhill if you stay straight), you will crest the top and see a breathtaking view of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. This is a must see and makes the 3.5 miles out worth every sore muscle!
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