• 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.

Park Fun

Kids sledding on the dunes

Sledding on the Dunes


Sledding down the slip face of dunes is a popular activity at White Sands National Monument. Most sledders use waxed plastic snow saucers (which can be purchased at the park gift shop). Below are a few tips for having a great time while staying safe.

  • Choose a dune that is away from the roadway and parking areas and is free of vegetation.
  • Sit or lay on your back on the sled with your feet pointing downhill.
  • Do not stand up while sledding. The dune sand may be soft, but the area at the base of the dune can be very hard and unintentional injuries are surprisingly common.
  • Do not sled head first.
  • Do not let young children sled alone. Children ages 5 to 9 are the most susceptible to injury.
  • Always check for hazards before sledding. Hazards include things like vegetation, rocks, or other obstructions.

Family-Friendly Hikes

  • The Dune Life Nature Trail is a wonderful family-oriented hike. As you walk the trail, you'll follow Katy the Kit Fox as she explains how she survives in the harsh environment of the dunefield. You'll also learn about many of the animals that make their home among the white sands. The trail is about 1.25 miles in length and takes roughly 40 minutes to complete.
  • The Interdunal Boardwalk is another great family hike. Interpretive signs will tell you about how plants manage to eke out a living in a seemingly waterless world as you meander along the planked walkway through a pristine interdunal area.

Junior Ranger Adventure Packs
Would you like to learn about the animals of White Sands National Monument while exploring the dunes? Then our adventure packs are just the thing-and they FREE to use! Just have mom or dad ask at the visitor center information desk.

Did You Know?

Photo of yucca growing on a dune

Some species of plants can survive burial by a moving dune by a process called "stem elongation." As the sand rises, the plants quickly grow upward to keep their leaves above the rising sand.