Star Dune - Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park

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ColoradoGuy
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Star Dune - Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park

Postby ColoradoGuy » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:13 am

I realize the Great Sand Dunes (GSD) are in a different class than the types of hikes that are discussed here, but yesterday I hiked to Star Dune in the GSD and highly recommend it. It took just under two hours to make it there and I took the "route" of reaching High Dune first (the more popular dune that is relatively close to the parking lot) before trekking up and down a few more dune valleys to the imposing Star Dune on the west side.

Anyway, if you're looking for a rigorous hike and a change of pace, I recommend Star Dune in GSD. Has anyone done this hike?

Two small photos:

The view of Star Dune while standing on High Dune. Star Dune is the pointed dune out there to the left ...

Image

A few steps away from the top. It's really cool up there!

Image
It's a tough job, but someone has to photograph the mountain. www.MtPrinceton.org
Doug Shaw
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Postby Doug Shaw » Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:03 pm

It's almost hard to take a bad picture at the Sand Dunes. The distinct, sweeping lines of the sand ridges and the contrasting shadowing they provide just sets the area up for some fascinating photographs.
Kiefer

Postby Kiefer » Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:19 pm

Colorado Guy! Hey, how are things down your way in Buena?
I agree! Star Dune is a nice short albeit tough jaunt. I've been up it a couple times now and more times to the Great Sand Dunes than I can remember. On those Summer days, Medano Creek is a sheer delight to lie in afterward! :)
If you have a truck, drive Medano Pass Road from the Alamosa Valley side over into Huerfano/Westcliffe valley. You might have to deflate the tires a bit once on the west side of the dunes to get through the occasional drift but it's a great 4x4 drive.
Music Pass makes for a nice trail run as well! Not much (people) traffic with a steady climb.
Nice pics!
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Aubrey
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Postby Aubrey » Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:40 am

I agree ... that's a great hike. Tremendously beautiful area, especially with the Sangres as a backdrop ... and not a lot of people ... peaceful, too. It's kind of tough climbing up (one step up, half a step back down sort of thing), but it's a blast going down.

The Great Sand Dunes is probably one of the most underrated places in Colorado. I work with a lot of people that have never been there, for example (some are natives and some have lived here for 10 years or more). I've only lived here 4 years but I've been to the Dunes a few times.
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MtHurd
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Postby MtHurd » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:59 am

Taken this September.

Image
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ColoradoGuy
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Postby ColoradoGuy » Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:06 pm

Nice shot, Barry!

Okay, I've got to show off this picture. I'm thinking of sending this to my mother as a gift. :)

I was on High Dune in this photo.

Image

-Steve
It's a tough job, but someone has to photograph the mountain. www.MtPrinceton.org
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Jim Davies
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Postby Jim Davies » Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:02 pm

Oh, yeah, the dunes are great. We did a backpack across Music Pass, along the Sand Bench trail, up Medano Pass on the road, then back to our car via the Rainbow Trail, in August '05. We got passed by two carloads of snowboarders while we were hiking the road. :D We saw LOTS of bear tracks while hiking along the northeast side of the dune field, probably 15-20 separate bears worth.
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin
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skier25
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Postby skier25 » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:24 pm

I went and skied the dunes last August. It is a blast, and the best part is (much to my amazement) that the sand did not put one scratch on those skis. It's incredible. They are in the same condition as there were before I took them out there! The boots didn't survive though...
We skied High dune and many others. It was really cool.
I get acute mountain sickness when I am away from the mountains.
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Timmy
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Postby Timmy » Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:03 pm

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, makes me want to take my brother's new ride out for a test spin. This was Halloween weekend when she lost her virginity.

Image.

:wink:
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drhatz
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Postby drhatz » Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:02 am

ScottieB ~ Don't worry about the dune buggies in our "Newest National Park"!
They will be banned, along with dogs, cats, beavers, cigarettes, Republicans, and CS evangelical preachers!!! :lol:

However, the first addition will be a $$$$ entry fee!!!

Regards
d
"Never argue with an idiot; they'll drag you down to their
level and beat you with experience."
- anonymous
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Timmy
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Postby Timmy » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:43 am

ScottieB wrote:Great..that's just what we need...dune buggys tearing up our newest national park.

Bwahaha... I new someone would respond negatively to my bro's pimped out ride. Don't you worry, sand rails (a dune buggy is a modified VW BUG while this has a 500 HP Acura V-6 Turbo) are not allowed in National Parks. :wink:

This pix is from the Imperial Sand Dunes at the AZ, CA, Mexico borders. The Great Sand Dunes of Colorado pale in comparison in size to the Imperial Sand Dunes - FYI.
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Jim Davies
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Postby Jim Davies » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:49 am

ScottieB wrote:Great..that's just what we need...dune buggys tearing up our newest national park.

Two words: wilderness area. Don't worry, Timmy's just a troll at heart.

Great picture. I need to climb Mt Herard someday; it must have an awesome view, sitting between the dunes and Crestones.
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin

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