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    Star Dune Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    11.7 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    292 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Hiking the Star Dune Trail is an other-worldly experience. Adventure through the Great Sand Dunes National Park up to one of the highest sand dunes in North America. If you don’t mind doing some off-roading, then you will love the Star Dune Trail.

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    Route Description for Star Dune Trail

    Immerse yourself in the sandy terrain along the Star Dune Trail. This epic adventure exhibits the beauty and diversity of Colorado’s topographies as you wander through the dune field that runs parallel to the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. Note climbing through the dunes presents inherent challenges and dangers. Summit before noon to mitigate the chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm and the unbearably hot afternoons. Pack plenty of water and wear sun protection too! Though this is a popular hike, the wind gusts often erase the worn path, so we suggest using the trail GPS. Note that the National Park charges an entrance fee of $25USD for 1-6 passenger vehicles.

    Setting out from the High Dune Trailhead, head southwest along Medano Creek. Notice those enjoying the refreshing alpine waters as you wander along the base of the sandhills. Soon, you will be diverted north up the wind-sculpted ridges of the dunes. Climbing up the soft terrain is taxing, but we find taking big steps helps! Eventually, you will reach the summit of Star Dune, in the inferior dune field.

    From atop the dune, the enormity of the sandhills becomes explicit. Revel in the surreal terrain that sits in the foreground of the snow-capped Colorado Rockies. After admiring the panoramas, retrace your footing along the path back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Star Dune Trail Trailhead

    The Star Dune Trail departs from the High Dune Trailhead off Highway 150.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Dispersed Backcountry Camping. Note a permit is required from the Visitors Center.

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Star Dune Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Star Dune Trail Reviews

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