Dunes Exploration and Montville Nature Loop Trail
Hiking becomes a leaping, sliding, even cartwheeling and somersaulting event at Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park. Here, 30 square miles of sand, wind-sculpted into myriad hills and valleys, invite climbing to the crest of a dune then rolling and jumping down the hill—again and again. The day’s destination may be the first knoll of sand or a trek to the top of the highest hill. Dune explorers start their hike by splashing across Medano Creek, the ankle-deep stream adjacent to the dunes parking lot. In the spring or early summer, the creek flow is about 25 yards wide, washing the sand in peculiar wave-like pulses called “surge flow.” After children have had fun at the crossing, point out how the creek flows in rhythms like the ocean’s waves. (This motion is caused by sand granules carried in the shallow current.)
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Directions to: Dunes Exploration and Montville Nature Loop Trailprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Skill Level||Easy for children|
|Trailhead Elevation||8,040 ft|
|Top Elevation||8,690 ft|
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