• The dunes in soft light

    White Sands

    National Monument New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • 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 »


    The White Sands Balloon Committee and the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce will be hosting both days of the Balloon Festival on Sept 20-21 at the Ed Brabson Balloon Park on Lavelle Rd in Alamogordo. Call Pat at (575) 430-9226 from 8-5 pm MDT.

  • Summer Monument Hours

    The monument currently opens at 7 a.m. and closes roughly 1 hour after sunset. More »

  • Road Safety Corridor

    The first four miles of Dunes Drive is a road safety corridor. Slowing or stopping in the corridor is prohibited. Dune Life Nature and Playa trails are also temporarily closed. The staff of White Sands National Monument apologizes for the inconvenience.

Be A Junior Ranger

Junior Rangers are cool!

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.

You can pick up your free Junior Ranger activity booklet at the Visitor Center or print the booklets before you visit by clicking here for the preschool booklet and clicking here for the booklet for ages 6 and up. 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.


Did You Know?

Photo of sand grains

The gypsum that makes up the white sands starts out as clear, translucent sand grains. As the wind bounces the sand grains along the ground, they collide and scratch each other. The scratches change the way light reflects off the grains, making the sand appear white.