“Another great trail with access to the Sand Pit Picnic Area and Medano Creek.”
— Kristen Arendt
River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
Sandy soil will be the norm on this trail out to the dunes. If you don't mind getting a bit of sand between your toes, you can run this as an out and back extension off of Sand Ramp Trail
The Sand Pit Trail can be accessed from the Point of No Return parking lot for those with a vehicle that they don't mind taking up the beginning of Medano Pass Road. Or for those with a low-clearance vehicle, you can run up Sand Ramp Trail
where this trail will branch off to the left at just over one mile.
The trail passes through scrubby rabbitbrush, pinon pine, shrubs and cactus, and the vegetation gets more sparse as you get closer to Medano Creek and the dunes. Medano Pass Road wraps back around to the Sand Pit Picnic Area which is a small pullout. Just past this picnic area, the trail continues on a short jaunt down to Medano Creek.
Flora & Fauna
Some pinon pine but mostly grasses, shrubs, and cacti such as rabbitbrush, prickly pear, and yucca. Depending on the time of year, you will may see Prairie sunflowers which are common in late summer in the park's grasslands, and also grow on the dunes themselves.
Elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, rabbits, coyotes, kangaroo rats, bullsnakes, short-horned lizards, and a variety of birds such as hawks and vesper sparrows.