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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Alamosa Area

Quick Facts

Little Medano Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,200 Feet (2556.1 Meters) Pinyon Flats Campground
Difficulty: Moderate Sandy conditions
Elevation Gain: 400 Feet (124.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 8,600 Feet (2680.8 Meters) Overlook beyond Little Medano Creek
Length, One-way: 5.5 Miles (9.17 Kilometers) From Pinyon Flats Campground
USGS Maps: Zapata Ranch, Liberty




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Trailhead at Point of No Return Parking Area - 10.98
Copyright: Jamiebea Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Trailhead at Point of No Return Parking Area - 10.98
Meander through a variety of terrain on Little Medano Creek Trail. Heading north from the campground near site number 62 to the Dunes Overlook, it continues north through escape dunes until it crosses Medano Creek. A scenic viewpoint bestows panoramic vistas. Little Medano Creek Trail becomes Sand Creek Trail and ends at an overlook just beyond Little Medano Creek, at the Sand Creek backcountry campsite.

Directions from Pinyon Flats Campground: Head north from the campground near site 62.

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 Backpacking Eight backcountry sites in the Monument; free permit from Visitor Center required.
No
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 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.

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.

Medano Pass Primitive Road - The Medano Pass Primitive Road is a four-wheel drive road that begins in the park and goes north to Medano Pass and the Rio Grande National Forest.

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.



More Information

Visitor Information:

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

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