• 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.

Recommended Reading - Grades 4 - 6

Bibliography, Grades 4-6

  • Arnold, Caroline; Watching Desert Wildlife, Carolrhoda Pub., 1994, 48 pages. The desert environment is explained and its wildlife introduced in text and excellent photographs.
  • DuBosque, Doug; Draw Desert Animals, Pub. Paper, 1996, 64 pages. Begins with circles and squares to teach the reader to draw desert animals.
  • George, Jean Craighead; One Day in the Desert, Harper Collins, 1983, 48 pages. Tells about a day in the desert with both record heat and torrential rain.
  • Goodhart, Barbara; A Year on the Desert, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1969, 55 pages.
  • Green, Christopher, Deserts, Salem House Pub., 1983, 128 pages. Tells about the different ways in which plants, animals and people adapt to the difficult conditions encountered in deserts.
  • Jablonsky, Alice; 101 Questions About Desert Life, Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1994, 32 pages. Answers questions about desert environment, insects, birds and animals.
  • Jenkins, Martin; Deserts, Lerner Pub., 1996, 48 pages. Combines geography and sociology of deserts and the survival of its inhabitants.
  • Johnson, Annabel; I am Leaper, Scholastic, 1990, fiction, 106 pages. Mystery story about a Kangaroo Rat. Many details on desert life.
  • Low, Robert; Peoples of the Desert, Rosen Pub. Group Inc., New York, NY, 1996, 24 pages. Two nomadic tribes, one from the Sahara and the other from the Kalahari, are featured in this discussion of human life in a desert environment.
  • Lye, Keith; Deserts; Silver Burdett 1987, 48 pages. A well-illustrated survey that describes the locations, climate, evolution of, and plant and animal life in the world’s deserts.
  • McLeish, Ewan; The Spread of Deserts, Raintree Steck-Vaughn Pub., 1996, 48 pages. Explains how deserts are formed, where the principal ones are found, and how to prevent their spread.
  • Munch, Theodore W. and M. Vere Devault; The Road Runner, The Steck Co. Pub., Austin TX, 1958, 30 pages. An older book with interesting facts about desert animals, birds and plants.
  • Olin, George; House in the Sun; A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert, Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, Tucson, AZ, 1994, 234 pages. Written for young readers, the author describes the ecology of the Sonoran Desert.
  • Pond, Alanzo William; Survival in Sun and Sand, Norton Pub., New York, NY, 1969, 180 pages. Concise and comprehensive. Excellent for schools.
  • Ricciuti, Edward R. Desert, Marshall Cavendish Corp. Tarrytown, NY, 1996, 64 pages. Deserts of the world are identified and described, with coverage on their plant and animal life.
  • Rinard, Judith E.; Wonders of the Desert World, National Geographic Society, 1978. Illustrated with many photographs of desert life.
  • Savage, Stephen; Animals of the Desert, Raintree Steck Vaughn Pub., 1997, 32 pages. Discusses the world's deserts and how they differ. Introduces five basic animal groups found in deserts.
  • Silver, Donald M. Cactus Desert, McGraw-Hill Co., 1997, 48 pages. Using a 24-inch square for observation, the life found in a desert is explored in this heavily illustrated account.
  • Simon, Seymour; Deserts, Morrow Pub., 1990, 32 pages. Remarkable photos, mainly of North American deserts. Includes the Great Basin, Mojave and Sonoran deserts.
  • Spencer, Guy J.; A Living Desert, Troll Communications, 1988, 32 pages. An adventure in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.
  • Steele, Philip; Deserts, Lerner Pub. Group, Minneapolis, MN, 1996, 32 pages. This introduction to deserts and the life found in them discusses such topics as the differences between hot and cold deserts, their landscape features and how they are still being created.
  • Stephen, Richard; Deserts, Troll Associates, 1990, 32 pages. One of a series of "Our Planet" books with good information and photographs.
  • Stewart, Gail B. In the Desert, Rourke, 1989, 32 pages. Explores the hardships faced by people who live in a desert environment.
  • Taylor, Barbara; Desert Life, D.K.Pub. New York, NY, 1992, 32 pages. Clear photos highlight the inhabitants of the desert.
  • Wallace, Marianne D.; America’s deserts: Guide to Plants and Animals, Fulcrum Pub., 1996, 48 pages. After a general discussion of the flora and fauna of deserts, this account focuses on specific deserts, like Mojave and Death Valley.
  • Wright-Frierson, Virginia; A Desert Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk in the Sonoran Desert, Simon and Schuster, 1996, 32 pages. A day in the life of the Sonoran Desert is described in words and watercolors painted by the author.
Last Updated: Sunday, 18-Apr-2004

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Unlike most other birds, which have three front toes and one back toe, the roadrunner has two front and two back toes, allowing it to run down its prey. Look for its distinct X-shaped tracks on the white sands.