We climbed it in the later part of the day when the sun was low and got some great views of the dune field and mountains beyond. The wind was howling at times, and my calves hurt like crazy, but it was completely worth it.
I was the first to summit in the early morning. Dancing light and shadow brought the dunes to life beneath the awesome backdrop of the Sangres. I ran full speed downhill and only fell once! Found sandhoppers and sunflowers on the way. I also perfected the sandvalanche, a deep cracking and resulting cascade of sand that leaves a deep, ominous rumble echoing among the dunes.
Hiked up after dinner and sat on the summit with my friend Jake and witnessed one of the best sunset scenes of my life. Hiked down in the moonlight. Stunning!
Sand-slogged up to High Dune summit on a very windy day (40+ mph gusts). . . the views were worth it!!! The highest dune is Star Dune but the high point of the park is over 13,500' in the Sangres.
(See the Music Pass area)
Summited High Dune, then headed over for a quicker than we thought summit of Star Dune (the true high point of the park). On the way back, hit Point 8,000 something. Got rained on the last 10 minutes of our high. A great day!
With Jeff and Monica.
I have lived in Colorado for 29 years and never visited the Great Sand Dunes. My wife and I stayed in a Yurt at Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa and went to the park the next day. The climb to High Dune wasn't that difficult at all. Of course we had perfect conditions for it. It had snowed on the dunes two days ago and the nights froze the moisture laden sand which made for easier walking. I had some difficulty actually standing on the summit because of a couple who were deeply in love.
Went up for the sunrise and made the mistake of taking my shoes off. It was very cold but once the sun rose everything changed. Amazing sunrise on an amazing hike.
I hiked up it with my family. My six year old was proud to beat us all to the top. I think this was my fourth ascent. We really enjoy the Dunes.
I did not see any sand woems.
CU Alpine Club trip. Very windy day and huge wind driven sand plumes blowing off the summit ridge, making it difficult to not cover your face at all. The sand screwed up my camera lens...have to get it fixed now. Climbed at Penitente Canyon the next day. Magnifico!
We pulled into our site late on the 26th in a rainstorm and woke up to a beautiful cool, clear morn. The hiking was fantastic and made much easier because the sand was wet and actually formed into climbing steps in the steeper sections. We experienced a Rocky Mountain first for our 10 Marylanders and 1 Nebraskan!
Nice end to a long 2007 Memorial Day weekend.
We always visit the Sand Dunes if we can. Lots of hummingbirds, lots of scenery, lots of sand. This was supposed to be a rest day, but High Dune was about all we could handle.
thankfully we were among the first to set out and took our own route, "topping out" on several other interesting dunes along the way.
Hit High Dune after a long day on nearby 13er Twin Peaks. The plunge step descent makes the slog worth it! Great views when the sun is going down. Herard looks pretty nice.
Practically had the place to myself, only saw 4 other people the whole time and they were at the bottom. Bismark and I pushed through 40+ mph winds to summit High Dune. Star Dune was out of the question in that wind and cold. I'll be back though...
I hiked up to the top of the Great Sand Dunes twice in the same day. After going up the first time, I get back to the parking lot and there are my friends and neighbors, Troy and Nickie, who just pulled into the parking lot to hike up to the summit. I don't know they were going to be there, but I joined up with them and hiked it yet again.
Don't recall exactly when I climbed this with AJ on a trip to the Dunes. It's interesting to hike around in the sand - great workout on the legs. More fun going down!
I was pleasantly surprised/amused to find this one on the summitpost website. In all seriousness though, this hike is a great lowerbody workout with stunning scenery throughout. A real must-do if you live in Colorado (or elsewhere for that matter!). I make the trek up High Dune every time I've visited the dunes. Just make sure your feet don't get burnt by the sand. As I've learned from experience, it can be scalding.
Does this really count as a peak? Anyway, I've climbed this and star dune many times.