Access from the bottom of Sand Creek is not feasible due to locked gates on the Baca Grant, deep sand, and private property at the mouth of the Creek. Riding or hiking across the Sand Dunes National Monument is possible along the eastern foothills; however, there is no water and infrequent shade. The trail is closed to motorized traffic.
Copyright: O'Rourke - US Forest Service
Upper Sand Lake looking north to the Crestones - 7.71
This trail is very popular due to its easy access and variety of hiking opportunities and scenery. Horseback travel is easy from Music Pass and in the upper half of the Sand Creek drainage. The lower part of Sand Creek is difficult for stock due to rock slides and brush. The trail from Cottonwood Creek to the head of Sand Creek is passable on foot only and difficult to follow. This section is steep and may require some bushwhacking but is worth the effort for the view from the Milwaukee Pass area.
Due to the heavy use in the Sand Creek drainage, it is recommended that camps be located away from the lake shores and grassy meadows along the creek. Flash floods along the creeks and lightening strikes on the open rock around Milwaukee Pass pose potential hazards.
Directions from Cottonwood Creek: From Cottonwood Creek on the Baca Grant. Stop at the Administrative and Maintenance Building for permission and directions to the beginning of the trail.
May through September .