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White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo

(4.7/5 based on 2,600+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We have driven the auto loop and the Boardwalk. It is a wonderful, and unreal environment. Sometimes it looks like snow, but it's good hot there. Very special!
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  • We had the most amazing time here. We were only able to do one trail, Backcountry trail, but it was the perfect one to do. My kids had so much fun, and it was so different from your normal trail. We w...  more »
  • At this time of year, a couple of visitor sites were closed. It is a remarkable site, huge towering mounds of sand which became whiter as the sun rose higher. We walked about a mile onto the alkali tr...  more »
Google
  • Other worldly. Clean and well managed. Safe and well arranged paths so you can feel like you're exploring, but you're not far away from the paths. Beautiful natural world wonder- a must see!
  • 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.
  • A dramatic landscape of rare white gypsum sand dunes! Rent a slide for a reasonable price at the visitor center. Find a dune, climb it, slide down. Then, repeat this process 287 times. Bring your dogs but don't forget to bring water for your 4-legged pupper.
  • 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.
  • Interesting place to visit for a couple of hours. We enjoyed the movie, and the hike on the boardwalk and the hike around the backcountry camping trail. It would be neat to camp out there - I bet the stars are amazing at night. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.