White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo

4.8
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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. To visit White Sands National Monument and other attractions in Alamogordo, use our Alamogordo trip planning app .
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White Sands National Monument Reviews
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  • White Sands is gorgeous. If you come to Alamogordo and don't see this national monument, you are truly missing out. Great photo ops, and a good place to find peace and quiet (if you go at the right ti...  more »
  • We were traveling to Arizona and went through the area had some time and took this in. Quite remarkable to see this much white sand. They actually have to plow it like snow and you can sled on the dun...  more »
  • White sand everywhere with gently sloping dunes and windswept patterns on the surfance is what you will see here. There are many deserts to visit but not too many with just white sand. This park is gr...  more »
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  • This is a fascinating place to visit. When you finally get deep into the park, you are surrounded by a sea of huge dunes, stretching off in all directions. The stark white of the material of these dunes, composed entirely of gypsum, not sand, gives the place an otherworldly character. Great for hiking, relaxing, and picture-taking, visiting is a unique experience that you will remember. If you bring kids, rent or buy sleds a the gift shop and they can slide down the dunes as if they were snow.
  • New Mexico is full of amazing parks to visit. This is one of those beauties. Whiteness as far as one can see. The weekend we visited also had the burning of the Bull festival in the evening which made our stay more exciting. Sands during the day and the sunset, then into town to watch fireworks. Lovely
  • This place is beautiful! The sun set is amazing. There are tables, pits and clean restrooms. Unfortunately didnt have time to buy something to remember this place. Its a must see. I love that you can just dust off the sand.
  • Great sand to play and sled down hills when you have wax on the bottom. We had a great experience and you had to wear sunglasses 🕶because the sun was so bright and the sand was white gypsum. Maybe will come back dunno for sure😀we got souvenirs and stuff
  • White Sands National Monument is almost other-worldly. It borders bazar, on reality scale, so it is of the places that you won't really "get" until you are standing in the middle of it. There are explanation boards that explain the geology of it. Take the time to read them, or take a pic for later reading and understanding. They sell things to ride down the drifts, and will buy them back when you are done. Take plenty of drinking water and an adequate amount of food for a picnic .

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