2 miles
15 ft
-804 ft
Avg time
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of Sand Dunes Trail
  • BLM
    Land Manager

Sand Dunes Details

  • Riding area
    Arkansas Hills Trails
    Salida, Colorado
  • Difficulty rating
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    DH, AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular direction shown
  • Physical rating
  • Season
    Year Round
  • TTFs on trail
    Drop, Rock Face
  • Global Ranking

First of all, be prepared to earn your turns. You've got to climb some steep, rocky double track to get up to the trail (ride as long as you can, hike the rest). Once you drop in, you've got a second to relax before things get rocky and rough. Stay on your toes - there are a few drops and then a stretch of 50 or so feet of what looks like a channel gouged out of sea corral with a few drops along the way. The exposure is also a factor so you may want to hike it until you are a seasoned pro. You continue on past another small drop or two until you get right out to the end of a ridge and turn to the left and down to the bottom of the drainage. Pick your like wisely across rocks, roots, and stumps. The bottom of the drainage is often sandy with looser rocks. You will make your way down some technical, rocky ups and downs before you swoop into the SAND DUNE! Try to from sliding out as you follow faint tire tracks through 4 inches of sand. It doesn't last long as you get down into rockier stuff. Prospector soon meets up with Sand Dunes and then you cross Backbone. This lower section is ridden more often as part of a shorter loop including the Backbone trail. It is less extreme than the upper section but still has some rocks to navigate over, sand, and steep-ish loose descents. You get spit out right at the bottom of S-Mountain at a pretty quick speed. Pry your hands off the grips and go get a beer.

Access Info

Use Frontside, Little Rattler, and CR 173 to get to the trailhead. It could be shuttled up CR 173, but it's a rough 4wd road.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Sand Dunes mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -789 ft
  • Altitude min
    7,042 ft
  • Altitude max
    7,832 ft
  • Altitude start
    7,832 ft
  • Altitude end
    7,043 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    351 ft
  • Distance down
    1 miles
  • Distance flat
    321 ft
  • Avg time
  • view trail stats
on Dec 20, 2016
Avg: 4.55 (7 votes)

view (75)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to sand-dunes trailhead (38.550662, -105.978981)
update trails status or condition

Sand Dunes Trail Reports

Dec 20, 2016 @ 3:03pm
Dec 20, 2016
Dry with some snow (12/20/16)
Dec 18, 2016 @ 11:13am
Dec 18, 2016
~1" of snow from 12/17/16 storm. Get out & have some fun!
Dec 3, 2016 @ 8:52am
Dec 3, 2016
~1in of snow from 12/2/16 storm
Nov 18, 2016 @ 7:45am
Nov 18, 2016
Still dry after 11/17/16 weather
Jun 8, 2016 @ 8:08am
Jun 8, 2016
6/6/16 - Good to go!
view all reports »


more »
32 |
May 22, 2017 @ 8:02pm
May 22, 2017
Sand Dunes, Salida
192 |
Feb 23, 2014 @ 6:42pm
Feb 23, 2014
Sand Dunes, Salida

Routes with this trail

Cottonwood Tour featured
22 miles

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