• 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 »

  • 2014 WHITE SANDS BALLOON INVITATIONAL

    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 Alamogordo Balloon Fiesta Park in Alamogordo, NM. For more information call 800-826-0294 or (575) 437-6120.

  • 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.

Recommended Reading - Grades 1 - 3

Bibliography, Grades 1-3

  • Albert, Richard E.; Alejandro’s Gift, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA, 1994, 25 pages. Interesting story about a man and his life in the desert.
  • Evans, Doris; Saguaro, Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, Globe, AZ, 52 pages. Beautifully illustrated. Younger children would also enjoy it.
  • Hirschi, Ron; Desert, Bantam, 1992, 32 pages. An introduction to animals that live in the desert with clues so that young readers can guess their identity.
  • Jernigan, Gisilia; Sonoran Seasons: A Year in the Desert, Harbinger Paper, Tucson AZ, 1994, 26 pages. A different plant is introduced for every month of the year and most of them are edible. Witty verse, scientifically accurate illustrations with a glossary of plants named in the book.
  • Landau, Elaine; Desert Mammals, Series: A True Book, 1996, 48 pages. Briefly describes deserts and their locations then tells about desert animals such as camels, kangaroo rats, antelope, jack rabbits and addaxes.
  • Mora, Pat; Listen to the Desert/Oye al Desierto, Clarion Pub. Co., 1994. Using double-page spreads, this book in English and Spanish introduces the animals and sounds found in a Southwestern Desert.
  • Posell, Elsa; Deserts, Children’s Press, Danbury, CT, 1982, 48 pages. Straightforward, simple text and fine color photographs.
  • Sabin, Louis and others; Wonders of the Desert, Troll Communications, 1982, 32 pages. A fine array of desert flora and fauna is simply introduced.
  • Sanders, John; All About Deserts, Troll Associates, 1984, 32 pages. Questions and answers about deserts. Good illustrations.
  • Wallace, Marianne D.; America’s Deserts, Guide to Plants and Animals, Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, CO, 1998, 48 pages. Can be used for social Studies and/or Environmental Studies of the Southwest.
  • Warner, Rita; Desert Wildlife of the Southwest Coloring Album, M.C. Creations, Mesa, AZ, 1974, 32 pages. Each page illustrates animals and birds of the desert with a description.
  • Watts, Barrie; 24 Hours in a Desert, F. Watts, New York, NY, 1991, 44 pages. Good bibliography and glossary.
  • Yolen, Jane and others; Welcome to the Sea of Sand, Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers New York, NY, 1999. A depiction in text and paintings of the amazing creatures found in a seemingly lifeless desert.
Last Updated: Sunday, 18-Apr-2004

Did You Know?

Photo of sand avalanching

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.