White Sands National Park in New Mexico
White Sands National Park is located in Southern New Mexico. It comprises of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals. The gypsum dunefield is the largest of its kind on Earth! Therefore, it is pretty unique right?
We decided to stop by and visit during our roadtrip from Texas to Arizona and Utah. We decided to spend a night in Las Cruces, New Mexico and drove over an hour to White Sands for sunset. If you want to be closer to White Sands you can stay in Alamogordo which is 20 minutes away.
Lastly, be sure to check their website here for updates during Covid and before you visit be sure to check for park closures, as there may be missile tests going on.
City: 20 minutes from Alamogordo, New Mexico
Location: White Sands National Park Honestly it is definitely out of the way if you are driving to Arizona or to Albuquerque but it is a good stopping point in between your roadtrip.
Parking: You are allowed to drive into the park and parking is available at each trail.
Length: Various trail options
Time: 1-2 hours
Best Time to visit: Year round, but avoid hot summer days as there is no shade. Preferably visit during the morning or later in the day. We went during sunset in late September and the temperature was cool.
What to bring: Walking shoes, sunscreen, hat, a sled and water.
Fee: Entrance to White Sands National Park is $25 or use your America the Beautiful Pass National Park Pass click here to purchase.
Things to do
1) Find a trail
There are several trails ranging from easy to difficult, and from .4 miles to 5 miles. If you have time feel free to explore any of these 5 trails.
2) Go sledding
It is highly recommended to get a sled, and find a dune to slide down. Please make sure that you have waxed your sled and please be safe! Some of the best sledding dunes are between mile marker 4-6.
3) Watch sunrise/sunset
We decided to just keep it simple and go for sunset, find a dune, and take pictures. I highly recommend going for sunrise or sunset, the temperatures were cool and the sunset colors were amazing! We drove all the way into the back of the park, parked and found a dune. The sand is fairly smooth and easier to walk in than other sand. The crazy thing about this white sand is that it does not stick to you or your clothes and it is cool even in hot summer days. I walked barefoot on it as you can see in the video and pictures.
4) Do a guided tour
There are guided tours available, sunset strolls, and full moon ones. The tours are currently closed due to Covid, check their website for updates.
5) Go camping
Yes, you can actually set up your tent and watch the night sky all to yourself. How amazing is this? It is currently closed during Covid, but check their website for updates and add it to your bucketlist.
6) Bring your pet and have a picnic
Most importantly, for those with pets, yes they are dog friendly, just keep them on their leash under 6 feet. Your dog will have a blast in the sand! And guess what? It doesn’t stick to them! There is a specific designated picnic area with tables or feel free to set up your own.