• 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 - Preschool

Bibliography, Preschool - K.

  • Bash, Barbara; Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus, Sierra Club Books, Boston, Little Brown, 1989, 30 pages. Good illustrations of plants, animals and people of the desert.
  • Baylor, Byrd; The Desert is Theirs, Aladdin Books, New York, NY, 1987, 28 pages. Interesting book to read to small children.
  • Guiberson, Brenda Z; Cactus Hotel, Henry Holt and Co., NY, 1991, 30 pages. Interesting book to read to small children. Third and fourth grades would enjoy reading it also.
  • Lesser, Carolyn; Storm on the Desert, Harcourt Brace and Co., New York, NY, 1997, 30 pages. Excellent illustrations.
  • Lowell, Susan; The Three Little Javelinas, Northland Publishing, 1992, 28 pages. A Southwestern adaptation of the story of "The Three Little Pigs" which takes place in the Sonoran Desert.
  • Urquhart, Jennifer C.; Creatures of the Desert World, National Geographic Society, 1987, 11 pages. A children’s pop-up book with good information about the desert.
  • Wright-Frierson, Virginia; A Desert Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk in the Sonoran Desert, Simon and Schuster, New York, NY, 1996, 30 pages. Can be read to young children, or grades 1-3 could read it for themselves. Good illustrations.
Last Updated: Sunday, 18-Apr-2004

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.