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Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes

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May 26-29, 2017

CMC Members: $625
Non-Members: $695


Trip Overview

Spend Memorial Day weekend among the tallest sand dunes in North America. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and surrounding area includes a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. We will stay in nearby, historic Alamosa Colorado and day-hike in this spectacular wilderness.


We'll start our trip in the afternoon on the 26th of May. We’ll carpool to Alamosa, stay in the Best Western Alamosa Inn, have dinner at the restaurant.  Days 2,3,4 we’ll have hikes in the Sand Dunes National Park 3-10 miles with elevation from 750 feet and up to 2.800 feet depending on the hike we’ll choose.  B and C hikers are welcome. Itinerary is as follows: 

5/26/17 Carpool to Great Sand Dunes National Park in the afternoon.   Driving distance is about 230 miles and it should take about 4 hours to get there. Stay in the motel Best Western Alamosa Inn. Dinner at the restaurant. 

05/27/17 Breakfast in the hotel.  Then drive to the Sand Dunes National Park. Hike to the highest point in the Dunes. It'll be 3-5 miles hike with elevation of 750 feet. But it should take about 5-6 hours because it's very hard to hike in the dunes. Dinner at the restaurant. 

05/28/2017 Breakfast in the hotel.   We can hike today either Mosca Pass Trail or South Zapata Lake Trail depending on the weather. Option #1: We'll hike Mosca Pass Trail which is 7-mile round trip with elevation of 1561 feet. After that, we'll go to drive to Zapata Falls. It will be 0.9 miles hilke with elevation gain of only 233 feet. The falls were formed when South Zapata Creek wore a groove in the crystalline rocks of the Sangre de cristos, allowing its water to spill onto the soft alluvial soils below. Over millennia, the creek has carved a dim, deep and narrow chasm through which water tumbles some 30 feet.  Option # 2: If there is not much snow, we can try a different hike which is called South Zapata Lake.  It is a difficult hike which starts at elevation of 9000 feet, and it is 10 miles round trip with elevation gain of 2,800 feet.  We couldn't do this hike last year because of too much snow 

05/29/2017 Breakfast in the hotel.  Then start 8-10 mile hike around the Great Sand Dunes along the Medano Creek.  Drive home after that. Farewell dinner at the restaurant. 


We'll stay in Best Western Alamosa Inn

Activities / Difficulty

We’ll hike 3-10 miles every day with elevation gain from 750-2800 feet depending on the hike we’ll choose due to the weather conditions.  B -C hikers are welcome.



Trip Leader: Svetlana and John Ehrhart

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