White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo
Categories: Geologic Formations, Monuments, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Glistening white dunes at White Sands National Monument have mesmerized visitors for centuries. Marvel at 712 km (275 mi) of sparkling sand, the world’s largest dune field of rare gypsum. Begin your trip at the visitor center--an excellent example of Spanish pueblo-adobe architecture. From here you can set off on a 13 km (8 mi) scenic drive to the heart of the dunes. Stop along the way for short walks, wayside exhibits, and photos of the otherworldly views. You can also hike a variety of trails. Only the top few inches of the dunes are loose, making them easy to walk. Sledding is also a popular here. Bring a snow saucer or buy one from the gift shop to race down the sand slopes. No water is available in the dune field, so fill bottles at the visitor center. Add White Sands National Monument to your Alamogordo travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Alamogordo tourist route planner.
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Was so much fun, came back the second day. $17 for a $5 saucer (I broke one of the three, might recommend a heavier duty if you are over 125 lbs) is a small price for the day(s) of fun. BRING WATER.
There is a nice drive through the Monument which helps to see the vastness of it. We did the 2-mile back country hike, which provides some very nice views and lots of solitude. The sand is quite firm ... read more »
I love the sands! It looks like snow but it's warm like the beach. The trails are fun and sliding down a dune is a perfect way to bring back childhood memories. The gift shop has a good selection of f... read more »
Visiting White Sands is like dropping into another planet for the day. Gorgeous gypsum white dunes go on for miles. Bring some food to cook out and plenty of water and sunscreen. Plastic sleds to ride down the dunes are a huge hit for kids and adults alike. There is a small museum giving a geological history of the park along with information about the plants and wildlife that live there. During the summer, they open the gates during the full moon until midnight. Moonlight reflects off the ground, illuminating the entire park.
Imagine you've just rocketed off the face of the earth and sped past the speed of sound to find yourself on the surface of the moon. This experience i would equate to an evening staying at White Sands, the terrain is so quiet and mysterious you'll seriously question whether you are still in the desert. The vast amount of moisture that helps bond the dunes will permeate the air so expect to get a little wet. Being plenty of water with you and a device to 'sled' with. The visitor center sells sleds for $10 which they will buy back for 3$ but might as well bring your own. Be weary of staying in the summer as monsoon season could keep you from enjoying the dunes but you will see spectacular sunsets this time of year.
White Sands is a really special place for my wife and me. We've been here twice now and loved both times. I would highly recommend camping in their back country camping spots. You can get the whole flat to your self and it's dead silent at night. Plus, the best times to see the dunes is at sunset/sunrise. The camping fees were really inexpensive but there's no amenities and you have to hike in at least a mile. Do not go hiking after dark. It's really easy to get lost, even if you have a flashlight. We did the sunset ranger walk both times we were here and it's a fun way to learn about the geology and biology of the park. When walking around, look for white lizards that have adapted to the color of the gypsum sand. If you're out on the sand during the day, be sure to bring plenty of sunblock, sunglasses and water. It's very reflective and could cause snow blindness. I would absolutely add White Sands NM to any South Western road trip itinerary.
One of the most beautiful parks, national monuments in the USA. The best time to go is in the morning and even better at night to see the sunset. It can get very hot in the day but also very cold at night so make sure you dress correctly. Bring lots of water with you because there is no water after you enter the main park. Absolutely stunning view in the largest gypsum sand dunes in the world.
Dunes for miles. Hundreds of people from around the world come and see the "sand", however there is more to it than that. Go, see for yourself, you wont be disappointed. Navigation at the park easy, everything is clearly marked, the U.S. Park Service does a great job of keeping people safe.
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