White Sands National Monument is certainly a beautiful place that has touched many hearts. On occassion, visitors have wanted to memorialize a loved one who has passed away by scattering their ashes on the wind blowing through the dunes, and we certainly understand that sentiment.
Memorializing a loved one in this way does require a special permit. This permit is not available online, but can be obtained from the superintendent by contacting the park at (575) 479-6124.
If you do decide to request such a memorial service, please be aware that there are some rules that must be observed.
- Remains must have been cremated and pulverized.
- Scattering by persons on the ground must be performed at least 100 yards from any trail, road, developed facility or body of water.
- Areas within White Sands National Monument where the scattering of ashes are prohibited are any location south of the Dunes Drive from the Dune Life Nature Trail to Picnic Area B, the Big Pedestal Road from Park Headquarters to the end, the Backcountry Camping area, and withing 1/4 mile of the Visitor Center and Headquarters complex.
- Scattered remains shall not be distinguishable to the general public, and shall not be left in any type of container.
- Containers shall be removed from the area.
- Except for authorization to disperse human remains by scattering, nothing in this permit shall be construed as authorizing an entry or activity otherwise prohibited or restricted by law or regulation.