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Old 09-25-2018, 08:32 PM
 
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Hello,

I'm wondering if it's possible to hike to the sand dunes (Great Sand Dunes NP) coming from northern direction. I'd appreciate any information.
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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I initially posted a route from the Crestones instead of the town of Crestone. There isn't a direct trail, but if you can road hike to Liberty Road you can use it along with the Sand Creek and Sand Ramp trails to get to the Visitor's Center. It's a pretty long slog.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:25 PM
 
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That route would skirt the western border and then you'd approach the visitor facilities from the south if I'm understanding right. Unless you went cross-country. On an old map I don't see any trails or roads directly between Sand Creek and Medano Creek if you tried to come directly south on the eastern border. But call the Park Service for advice... and to report in / out if you try it. Take plenty of water, water treatment, satellite emergency beacon, etc. and a lot of skill, experience, judgment. Could be very bad idea if you are not highly qualified. Not sure if you'd cross private property or restricted areas by either route. So definitely talk to the rangers.


What season are you thinking of doing this? Right now would have least water. Late spring / early summer might have too much. I dunno if quicksand is an issue, but it might be in places crossing streams.

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-25-2018 at 09:36 PM..
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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It actually approaches from the northeast. Sand Ramp runs along the edge of the mountains down to the Visitor's Center. If OP can get a ride to the Liberty Road parking lot it'd cut off a few miles.

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7010961
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:10 PM
 
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Ok, thanks for clarification. The first "route" didn't really make sense but I didn't hear you mention Medano Creek so I assumed sticking on Sand Creek further.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:41 AM
 
23 posts, read 14,863 times
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Thanks for the information everyone!

One more question: I noticed there's trailhead parking on Liberty Rd. What are the road conditions (Baca Grande Way) leading to the trailhead? Is it a 4WD dirt road or can any car use it?

Thanks again,

Last edited by Mike from back east; 09-26-2018 at 11:45 AM.. Reason: Merged 2:1
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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I personally haven't done that hike, but I pieced it together for you. You might wanna call someone in Crestone and ask them - maybe the Town Hall or the Crestone Brewery or Crestone Merc. There's also a Camping Hiking and Backpacking in Colorado group on Facebook that you could pose the question to.

Camping/Hiking Facebook group
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:56 PM
 
92 posts, read 141,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlawiner View Post
Thanks for the information everyone!

One more question: I noticed there's trailhead parking on Liberty Rd. What are the road conditions (Baca Grande Way) leading to the trailhead? Is it a 4WD dirt road or can any car use it?

Thanks again,
It's paved all the way until about the last mile and a half. It's generally pretty washboardy from that stretch to the final parking lot, but it's completely safe and doable for any vehicle as long as you don't drive too fast. It's a terrific area and I love hiking out there. I've hiked from there to Liberty many times. You likely won't see a soul, but do be mindful of hunters this time of year just in case.

The Liberty Road trailhead has a pit toilet and a register, but nothing else in terms of amenities or info. Plenty of parking, though!

*edit*

Oh, and just so you know, Deadman Creek is completely dry where you cross the creek on the Liberty Road. Has been since May. Bring plenty of water. Can't speak for the Sand Creek conditions once you hit the Dunes, but I expect them to be similar. You might find water when you cross Pole Creek near Duncan since it's higher up in elevation, but it's extremely dry out here. Just a heads up. It's a long, hot hike!
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