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 »
New Monument Hours
The monument currently opens at 8 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.
Bringing Your Class to the Park
What Can We Do For You?
White Sands National Monument offers curriculum-based programs that directly relate park resources to what you are teaching in the classroom. Program topics are offered on geology, desert ecology, plants, animals, adaptations, area history, minimum impact resource use, environmental ethics, biodiversity, and endangered species. Other topics may be arranged.
If you don't have time for a ranger presentation or a ranger isn't available, we also have Teacher Resource Bags. The Teacher Resource Bag is a tote bag equipped with several outdoor guides: birds, mammals, tracks, and plants as well as binoculars. Also included in the bag are the Dune Life Nature Trail Field Notebooks: one notebook covers kindergarten through 2nd grades and the other notebook covers 3rd through 6th grades. The field note questions are tied to New Mexico State Standards for the listed grades.
How Many Chaperones Do I Need?
The chart shown below is the average of the surrounding local school districts standards for the ratio of chaperones to students for school field trips. The chart will be used to determine the number of adults that will be covered by the fee waiver permit obtained by the schools. Any adults (age 16 and older) above the ratio will be asked to pay the $3.00 per adult fee to enter the monument. White Sands National Monument encourages parents to join their children for the school field trips. Parents should be notified that they will need to pay monument entrance fees if the maximum number of chaperones per student ratio is exceeded on any given field trip.
Age of Students
Students per Chaperone
Divide total # of students into ration = # of chaperones
1 to 1
25 students = 25 chaperones
|Pre-school||2 to 4 yrs||1 to 1||25 students = 25 chaperones|
|Kindergarten||5 yrs||3 to 1||100 students = 33 chaperones|
|Grades 1-2||6 to 7 yrs||5 to 1||100 students = 5 chaperones|
|Grades 3-4||8 to 10 yrs||8 to 1||100 students = 13 chaperones|
|Grades 5-8||11 to 13 yrs||10 to 1||100 students = 10 chaperones|
|High School||14 to 18 yrs||15 to 1||100 students = 7 chaperones|
|College||18+ yrs||varies||course may be taught by 1-3 professors|
What You Need to Do For Us
Plan ahead! Before calling the park, decide what program topic would most directly relate to the unit you are teaching and most beneficial to your students.
The park requires at least two (2) weeks notice in order to schedule and prepare for the program. Each program will be tailored to meet your class's educational needs. Due to staffing limitations, we can only take one class at a time. We will make every attempt to schedule a ranger for your group's visit. However, due to staffing, we cannot confirm a ranger for a requested program until 10 to 14 days prior to your visit.
Please check the school calendar to confirm that a ranger has been scheduled for your requested program.
We ask that you allow plenty of time for field trips and schedule in free/play time in addition to program time so your students get the maximum benefit of the park experience and visit.
When scheduling a field experience, please also consider time of day and the weather for that time of year. It is also helpful if you have alternate dates available in case of weather or scheduling conflicts.
For safety reasons, there is a limit of 12 school buses per day in the dunes. Please check the visiting schools calendar wh choosing a date to visit the monument. Education groups using the park for educational purposes are eligible for a fee waiver. A form will be sent with your confirmation letter.
When you schedule ranger program, please give an accurate time for your request. Schools who do not show for their ranger program will not be allowed to request an on-sight ranger program for one year. This will apply to the offending teacher(s) and not the entire school. There is a 15-minute window if you are running late. If your group is more than 15-minutes late, we will not be able to provide the scheduled program. Please call in advance if you are running late. If you need to cancel a program, we ask that you do so as soon as possible so that the time slot can be used by another group.
For more information or to schedule a program or workshop, please contact the Education Specialist at email@example.com.
Educational Fee Waivers
All students 15 and under are admitted free. Students 16 years and older, as well as teachers and other adult supervisors, pay a $3 per person entrance fee. Classes coming to the park for a curriculum-based activity (i.e., must enter the park to complete a course requirement) are eligible for an Educational Fee Waiver. Please remember to check the visiting schools calendar when choosing a date to visit the monument.
Download the Fee Waiver application form. Once you've downloaded and filled it out completely, submit it via one of the following ways:
1) Fax it to (575) 479-1116 to the attention of the Education Specialist
2) Email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Did You Know?
The wind moves small sand grains by bouncing them along the surface in a process called "saltation." Saltating sand grains create a beautiful pattern of ripples on the dune surface. Larger sand grains are struck by saltating grains and slowly roll forward, a process known as "surface creep."