Sandy Chervenak
Sandy C


Backpacking · Boulder, CO, United States
  • 5 days
  • 2 - 8 people
  • Difficult
$200Per Person
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Spend five days backpacking a breathtaking Rocky Mountain trek from Crestone, CO over a 12,000ft. pass, and landing on the outlandish and incredibly fun Great Sand Dunes of Colorado. Spend two days hiking up the charming Cottonwood Creek, littered with small waterfalls and awe-inspiring rock formations. There is an option here to spend the third day summitting Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, or both, for breathatking views of the entire San Luis Valley from over 14,000ft. high. the other option is to cross the pass (also offering incredible views), and spend the remainder of the day descending in the the lush Sand Creek Valley. Continuing down the valley the following day would lead us straight to the Star Dune Complex on the Northern side of the Great Sand Dunes. This area can only be accessed via rugged 4-wheel drive vehicle, so we are likely to have little to no tourist traffic as we spend anywhere from a half-day to one-and-a-half days playing on the giant mountains of sand. To get back to Crestone, all we have to do is hike 9 miles, which although flat, will take us all day due to the increased difficulty of hiking on soft sand. From there we can either spend the evening, parting ways, carpooling to Boulder, or soaking in a geothermal hot springs nearby, getting the sand out of our orifices while we gaze upon the expansive valley below. We will spend the evening in the quaint, spiritual hub of Crestone, CO and camp he night there. Early the following morning we
June 1st - August 31st
I grew up in Boulder, CO enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. I have been to the Great Sand Dunes almost every summer of my life, and have backpacked this loop myself. I have been leading Backpacking rips and wilderness survival courses for over two years, with a record of safety and epic fun. I have also completed an 80-hour Wilderness First Responder Medical Training in order to effectivly deal with the unlikely case of injury or illness on the trail.
You will be expected to bring all of your own gear, and I can send you a comprehensive packing list. Some gear can be rented from the Universiy of Colorado or from the Denver REI Store
Full refund 2 days prior to tour.
Either at the Boulder Justice Center (1777 6th St, Boulder, CO 80302) to carpool (3.5 hour drive), or in Crestone itself.
  • Day 1
    Depart from Crestone and begin hiking up Cottonwood Creek.
  • Day 2
    Continue up Cottonwood Creek to camp just below treeline.
  • Day 3
    Cross the 12,000 ft. Mountain pass and begin to descend down Sand Creek. Optional: Wake up before dawn to summit Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle, or both 14ers in one day.
  • Day 4
    Finish descent down Sand Creek, arriving at The Sand Dunes. Spend the evening playing on the dunes.
  • Day 5
    Hike a flat, sandy 9 miles back to Crestone. Either part ways, carpool back to Boulder, or spend and additional night and the following morning soaking in a nearby hot springs. Optional: spend a mellow day relaxing and spending more time on the Dunes.
  • Backpack the Sangre de Cristos to the Sand Dunes
  • Backpack the Sangre de Cristos to the Sand Dunes


Per Person
Request to book