Hike to Star Dune

8 miles 750 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Kristian Conway

Climb the tallest dune in North America while taking in one of the most fantastic geologic phenomenons in the country.

There is no established trail or route to summit Star Dune which is the beauty of the ever changing and serene nature in the Great Sand Dune National Park. Star Dune is the tallest sand dune in North America, at 750' tall and reaching a summit of 8617'. However, High Dune to its north is at a higher elevation, making it the highest point in the dunes. 

To summit Star Dune, hikers must chart their own course through the dunes while keeping Star Dune in sight. Due to its height it is rather easy to view. It is easiest to hike along the crests of the dunes and make your way southward. If you bring something to slide on you can even slide your way down the dunes. This is a very strenuous hike and you want to start early before the sand gets too hot and plan to spend at least half the day. While there make sure to take time to learn ho the dunes were created and the beautiful nature at work there.  

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Family Friendly
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

ūü•ą Contributor

about 1 month ago

Great Alternative to High Dune

This hike has incredible views throughout, and is much more isolated than the nearby High Dune. We had the trail to ourselves even though the park was full of visitors. It is a little strenuous hiking so far through the sand, but the views from Star Dune are 100% worth it. Make sure to hike as far along the riverbed as you can before starting to hike up the dunes; you will save energy by avoiding having to go up and down too much. We started hiking up toward the dunes at a wooden pole in the riverbed, and that was perfect for us.

Stay Nearby

Mosca, Colorado

Pinon Flats Campground

Overview Pinon Flats Campground is located in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in southern Colorado. The huge dunes are the tallest in North America and comprise about 11 percent of an...

Westcliffe, Colorado

Alvarado Campground

Overview Alvarado Campground, located at an elevation of 9,000 ft., is a prime location for accessing easy to challenging hikes in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. The variety of trails lead to hig...

Alamosa, Colorado

Alamosa Koa

County Road 374

St Charles Campground Lake Isabel

Overview Nestled among aspen and tall Douglas fir trees, St. Charles Campground is in a quiet part of the Lake Isabel Recreation Area. Located on the banks of St. Charles Creek, the campground is p...

Nearby Adventures

  • Sandboard in Great Sand Dunes National Park

    Outside of the national park there are two different companies that can rent sand boards and sleds for your day use at around $20 per board per day. However, If it is raining a lot and the dunes are too wet, or if the dunes are frosted over both c...

  • Backpack the Great Sand Dunes

    Few places can match the epic scale of this bizarre wilderness in southern Colorado. Great Sand Dunes National Park contains 750 foot tall sand dunes (the tallest in North America) resting at the foot of 13,000 foot peaks (the Sangre de Cristo ran...

  • Hike High Dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park

    The Great Sand Dunes are one the most unique landscapes in Colorado. These massive dunes are the tallest sand dunes in North America. Hiking these dunes can be very difficult, but well worth the amazing views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range...

    2.5 miles 700 ft gain

  • Hike the Mosca Pass Trail, Great Sand Dunes NP

    The Mosca Pass trail is an (approx) 8 mile out and back hike that takes you through beautiful ponderosa and aspen forests to summit 1500 above the start. The trailhead parking is the first left after the Great Sand Dunes visitor center. It is a mo...

    8 miles 1459 ft gain

  • Inspire Your Fall Aspen Trip!

    Autumn days in Aspen are filled with sunshine and nights with crisp cool air. Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Take in the scenery while enjoying scenic drives, hiking through forests, road biking, and exploring our IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognized mountain bike trails. 




    Learn More