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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Alamosa Area

Quick Facts

Pinyon Flats Trail

Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 8,200 Feet (2556.1 Meters)
Length, One-way: .75 Miles (1.25 Kilometers)
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Zapata Ranch, Liberty




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Pinyon Flats Trail leaving from Main Dunes Parking Area - 10.98
Copyright: Jamiebea Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Pinyon Flats Trail leaving from Main Dunes Parking Area - 10.98
The trail is on the right side of the Dunes Parking Area and heads north. If you go west, toward the dunes when you reach the junction, you will encounter Medano Creek. If going to the campground, you will cross Medano Pass Primitive Road just before you reach Loop 1.

From the campground, head west from Loop 1. When two trails junction, take the left one and head south. It is about 1/2 mile to the Dunes Parking Area.

Directions from Visitor Center: Park in the Dunes or Amphitheater parking area.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Year-round (NOTE: Visitor Center open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Summer months; varying hours in the Winter.) .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Family Camping Pinyon Flats Campground
No
ICON Fishing Medano Creek; Rio Grande National Forest
No
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Medano Pass Primitive Road
No
ICON Group Picnicking South Ramada (reservations required) and North Ramada
No
ICON Hiking & Walking Numerous other trails in the area as well
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Park at Amphitheater, Montville or Point of No Return; stay out of main public use areas
Yes
ICON Animal Identification Look for tracks in the sand, especially in early morning.
Yes
ICON Firewood Gathering Not permitted in the Monument; purchase from concessionaire in summer and from Visitor Center in winter.
No
ICON Lodging Alamosa, Monte Vista and Ft. Garland
No
ICON Mountain Biking Only on Medano Pass Primitive Road; some difficult sandy stretches
No
ICON Mountain Climbing Blanca Peak, Little Bear and the Crestones
No
ICON ATV Riding Only on Medano Pass Primitive Road, if vehicle and driver are licensed.
No
ICON Motorcycle Riding Only on Medano Pass Primitive Road, if vehicle and driver are licensed.
No
ICON General Information Visitor Center
No
ICON Picnicking Next to Dunes Parking Area, Sand Pit and Castle Creek sites
No
ICON Downhill Skiing Trying skiing the dunes, even in summer.
No
ICON Backpacking Eight backcountry sites in the Monument; free permit from Visitor Center required.
No
ICON Attending Talks & Programs Summer programs at amphitheater; programs in Visitor Center year-round
No
ICON Viewing Interpretive Signs Picture Point Trail, Montville Nature Trail
No
ICON Guided Touring Concessionaire conducts tours on Medano Pass Primitive Road in the summer.
No



Related Activities
Amphitheater and Parking Area - The amphitheater is on the right, just before Piñon Flats Campground. Nightly campfire programs are offered from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A wheelchair platform is located in the center of the seating area.

Dunes Picnic Ground - The picnic area is located right next to the Dunes Parking Area which is at the edge of the dunes. Tables, grills (charcoal fires only please), water and restrooms are provided.

Great Sand Dunes National Monument Visitor Center - Before venturing out to the dunes, stop by the Visitor Center. Here you can pick up information on the dunes and other park features. The center is opened daily, except on federal holidays in the winter.

Little Medano Creek Trail - Meander through a variety of terrain when you head north from the campground. Travel through escape dunes until the trail crosses Medano Creek. The trail ends at an overlook just beyond Little Medano Creek.

Main Dune Mass Trail - A climb to the top of the tallest dune (not quite 750 feet from the base) takes about one hour. From the top you may gaze upon miles of picturesque topography.

Main Dunes Parking Area - This is the main parking area for the Great Sand Dunes and it is located only a few yards from the dunes. A picnic area for families and groups is located here and restrooms and water are available.

North Ramada Group Picnic Ground - Reservations are not required at this picnic area and the site can between 50-70 people. Busses should park in the main Dunes parking area. Groups can then walk to the site.

Pinyon Flats Campground - Piñon Flats Campground is open all year on a first-come, first serve basis. Each site has a picnic table and fire grate. Facilities include water fountains and spigots as well as restrooms with sinks and toilets.

Pinyon Flats Group Site - Some group sites are available in Piñon Flats Campground. It is extremely popular and reservations are required. Since these sites are in such high demand, call the Visitor Center any time after January 2nd.

South Ramada Group Picnic Ground - Reservations are required at this picnic area; they can be made by calling the Visitor Center. The site can between 50-70 people. Busses should park in the main Dunes parking area.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Alamosa Visitor Information Center, Cole Park , Alamosa, CO, 81101, Phone: 719-589-4840, bluskys@alamosa.org

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