Painted Dunes

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06/17/20 - What a gorgeous gem. Much of the walk is the consistency of sand, so when you walk up the cinder cone it will feel like 2 steps forward and 1 step back, because it is. Because of this the cinder cone looks more daunting than it actually is – but the payoff on the rim is well worth the effort.

I walked the bypass around the back side of the cinder cone to get a ground-level view; the trail on the back side of the cinder cone may be a little easier as some gravel in spots helps negate the sand. From there I walked the circumference of the interior and exterior rims. I did not walk down to the bottom of the caldera. This added up to 5 miles and about 900’ gain. For me this was just under 2 hours; less avid hikers should plan for around 3 hours.

You will want to bring water – the 10 essentials would not hurt, either – and PLEASE do not be one of those self-entitled, mouth-breathing a*holes who marches around on the dunes off-trail so that future travelers get to look at your primate footprints instead of the pristine dunes.