Southwest of Colorado Springs and northeast of Alamosa within Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Medano Pass Primative Road is a rugged OHV/4WD route leading up to Medano Pass. This 7 mile route typically takes around 3 hours from the paved park road up to the pass. The high-clearance road is known for soft-sand, rocks and creek crossings. From the heights of the road, there are good vies of the massive breathtaking dunes and the scenic Sangre de Cristo mountain peaks. Once at the pass, there is a nice 4 mile one-way hike up to Medano Lake; the trailhead is about 0.5 miles to the west of Medano Pass in a spruce and fir forest.
Once on the Medano Pass Primative Road, there are 21 primative, forested campsites. These numbered campsites do not require a permit and are first-come, first-serve. There are bear boxes and fire rings.
To reach Great Sand Dunes National Park from Denver, Colorado Springs or Pueblo, head south on US25 to Exit #50 for Walsenberg. Head west on US160 for about an hour passing through Fort Garland. Turn right heading north on SR150 which leads into Great Sand Dunes National Park. After entering the park, the Medano Pass Primative Road starts near Pinyon Flats Campground. Once at the pass, the road connects with FS559 leading down the east side of the mountains and eventually connects with SR69.
Note: during dry conditions, the sand on the road can be difficult to navigate. Many OHV/4WD users lower their tire pressure to 20 psi. There maybe an air pressure station at the western end of Medano Pass Primative Road. Also, this road is not suitable to mini-SUVs or non-4WD vehicles. ATVs are not permitted anywhere within Great Sand Dunes National Park.