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Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby susanjoypaul » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:05 am

jaymz wrote:Have you considered doing part or all of it as a full moon hike? I bet that would be beautiful, and mitigate any heat concerns.

That's a great idea, especially for the photo opportunities. It's tough to get a *bad* picture of the sand dunes - I look back at my own, daytime photos and am still amazed by how beautiful they are. Google Image "sand dunes" "full moon" for a peek at what you might be able to capture with the full moon! And the next one occurs... Thursday, April 25th - coinciding perfectly with your "last weekend in April" plans.

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby peter303 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:32 am

How picky are the rangers about people parked overnight in the dunes parking lots and sleeping on the dunes?
During the nice weather months the campground is always full. And there are lots of signs about not parking overnight except at some trailhead lots. And there is not much camping nearby the park.

There are no restrictions when you hike the dunes. People are up there all hours of the night catching sunrises and sunsets.

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby foxbox » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:42 am

peter303 wrote:How picky are the rangers about people parked overnight in the dunes parking lots and sleeping on the dunes?
During the nice weather months the campground is always full. And there are lots of signs about not parking overnight except at some trailhead lots. And there is not much camping nearby the park.


You need a permit in order to camp in the Dunes or you'll be issued a ticket.

I know some people who walked across the entire length of the sand dunes in the middle of the night. Everything I heard from them was that it wasn't much fun and mostly a slog for miles on end. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down.

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby semitrueskerm » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:43 am

Hiking Rescue on a Sand Dune?

Call in the Bubba Hover!


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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby highpilgrim » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:48 am

foxbox wrote:Up and down. Up and down. Up and down.


Some people around here don't mind that so much.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby susanjoypaul » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:15 am

Some pics from an ~8-mile loop I did in 2010 (and repeated a couple of months ago). Still need to go back for "8860" and "Herard Ridge"... and the peak, too!

Great Sand Dunes National Monument

I say, go for it!

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby mike offerman » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:52 pm

I did a hike across and back in a day a few Februarys ago. The dunes were nice and frozen so it kept the sinking/slogging to a minimum. We lucked out on a nice sunny but cold day, and thankfully no wind. We also didn't need to carry as much water as you would this time of year. Overall it was a great day and we have talked about doing it again.

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby cougar » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:47 pm

lots of up and down and up and down - in sand. A round trip in a day of 16-20 miles will be a workout unless you ride a camel. I did the High Dune to Star Dune and back in late November (coming back across the edge of the dunes). Not the longest way all across but a good taste of the dunefield. No issues with heat that time of year, there was a bit of snow. The shadows are great with the sun lower that time of year too and at sunset. Be careful out there at night - it's too dangerous with the Sand People out there.

Image

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby Arkenstone » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:31 am

Well that would be different. My list just got a little longer so if anyone else is up for it this is one of the next trips for me. Just can't decide whether to do it night or day. I wonder what the Sand People taste like, might need to bring some tabasco sauce.

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby Arkenstone » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:40 pm

You got me all excited and since I'm so impatient I just went for it on Saturday 4/13. I had way too much fun. Fortunately I had all my snowboarding gear in the truck which I turned back for almost immediately. Full goggles were essential as were a couple of buffs to deal with the blowing sand. Standing up was a challenge in the full gusts and Jeremy27 is right, there's no pitching any sort of tent in those conditions. Nevertheless, having made it back to the campgrounds (only the lower site is open) I crashed for the night and woke up covered in snow. Yep, it snows in the desert. That desert is alive by the way, my garmin gps put high dune a good 80 feet from where it actually was. In the ways of navigation, good lighting is pretty crucial. I don't think a head lamp, or even a light saber, will help you spot the intersecting ridgelines 200ft away that keep you from careening down and back up the bowls. Good news is the sand is just right temp wise, barefoot should work out just fine. Good Luck

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby ajkagy » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:23 pm

sounds like the "gulag" desert exile scene in mad max :-D

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http://www.resortbeta.com - An interactive ski/snowboard experience for all your favorite ski resorts.

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Re: Hiking straight across the Great Sand Dunes?

Postby Hacksaw » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:42 pm

dngrcnnn wrote:I just got back from my second overnight trip to the sand dunes, and have the strong desire to hike straight across the park(~8 miles across at it's longest point), not taking Sand Ramp Trail. Probably a two day trip? Hike across, camp, hike back out. I haven't been able to find any trip reports or mentions of doing it on the internet, so figured I'd check and see. What's the deal? Is this a terrible idea and no one else has even considered it? Or is it just "meh" and no one was excited enough to write about it. I just can't believe no one else has had the thought, since it was the first thing that popped into my head whilst camping below star dune.

Thoughts?


We did this on COBS in June 73'. It wasn't very fun.
"True love is much easier to find with a helicopter."

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