Great Sand Dunes National Monument Highpoint Information *

* compiled by Dave Covill


The Great Sand Dunes highpoint is a liner at 10,520+ feet, some fourteen hundred feet down from a rocky knob, and two thousand seven hundred feet down from Mount Herard - also called Peak Seven. Reaching this liner involves an elevation gain of roughly two thousand feet in about three horizontal miles, beginning from the very sandy Medano Pass four wheel drive road near the Monument/Park boundary.

This highpoint is a rocky outcrop about ten feet higher than the surrounding grassy slopes, with a large, mostly dead, gnarled bristlecone pine protruding from the top. A National Park Service sign proclaiming the park boundary is displayed prominently on a tree twenty feet due east of this spot. A small cairn with summit register can be found on the outcrop. National Park Service signs can be found along much of the park boundary.

Park highpoint

The Great Sand Dunes Preserve boundary is farther north and west as Tijeras Peak (13,604+ feet) -

Tijeras Peak

The highest well-recognized sand dune is High Dune at 8,691 feet. It is also the most prominent dune, with at least seven hundred feet of prominence. High Dune is fairly close to the Visitors Center -

High Dune

Dunes exceeding one hundred feet of prominence can be found along the northeastern edge of the dune field. They push up against the Sangre de Cristo Range, and exceed 8,800 feet elevation -

highest dunes

Small dunes about ten to twenty tall can be found as high as 9,500 feet, as they sneak their way up the valley formed by Little Medano Creek. Much of the lower slopes of the Sangres have sandy soil. The highest pure sand extent is shown here -

highest pure sand


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