Closures and Missile Tests
Upcoming Missile Tests: From time to time the missile range that surrounds us performs missile testing that may require the closure of the park or Highway 70. Please follow the link below for up to date information on closures More »
New Monument Hours
White Sands National Monument will open at 8 a.m. and close approximately one hour after sunset from September 3 through December 31, 2013. Beginning on January 1, 2014, the monument will open at 9 a.m. and close approximately 1 hour after sunset. More »
Road Work in the Monument
From Oct. 1 until further notice, a paving project will affect Dunes Drive and the visitor center and gift shop parking lots. Please be alert for changes in traffic patterns and potential traffic delays along Dunes Drive. We appreciate your flexibility.
Closed on Christmas Day
The monument, including Dunes Drive and the visitor center, will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25, 2013.
Be A Junior Ranger
Become a Junior Dunes Ranger When You Visit!
The Junior Dunes Ranger program is a program for kids visiting the park with their families. It is a way to learn more about White Sands National Monument and the National Park Service and have fun at the same time. It's also a way that kids can help the park rangers take care of national parks.
There are four different age/developmental level activity guides: preschool (ages 4 -5), ages 6 - 8, ages 9 - 13, and age 14 and over. The activity guides have all kinds of different things in them. There are puzzles, coloring pages, scavenger hunt bingo, activities on desert safety, the visitor center, wildlife, nature manners, trails, and many more.
Pick up your free Junior Ranger activity booklet at the Visitor Center. Complete the activities and earn a Junior Dunes Ranger patch (or badge) and certificate.
Attention Boy Scout and Girl Scout Leaders -- If you are coming to the park with your troop and would like them to earn a badge or patch, you must contact the park two weeks in advance to make arrangements. We will work with you to create a project that will allow your troop to earn their badge or patch while learning about the park. We are unable to give junior ranger books to entire troops. Projects can include scavenger hunts, creative writing projects, or service projects such as park cleanup.
Hike Smart! Learn how to "Hike Smart" with a ranger this summer!
Hike Smart is a new ranger lead program for children at White Sands NM this summer. Hike Smart is about how to keep yourself as well as the plants and animals whose home you will be traveling through safe. It is important to know how to explore deserts safely. Hiking is more fun if we are prepared. This program is based on scenarios that will help you learn how to dress, what to bring, basic map and compass use and outdoor awareness skills. This is an hour long outdoor class.
**Please note that this is not the same as our Junior Ranger program. Children do not earn a badge or patch. For children who would like to earn a badge or patch, the Junior Ranger booklet can be obtained for free at the visitor center desk.
Where: Dune Life Nature Trail - Meet at trailhead
Did You Know?
While the wind piles the sand grains into dunes, the dunes move forward under the force of gravity. As the leading edge of the dune ("slipface") gets steeper, gravity pulls an avalanche of sand down the slipface, moving the dune forward.