• 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 »

  • 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.


Below, you will find a selection of links and documents pertaining to the geology of White Sands National Monument and the surrounding Tularosa Basin. You can also download our geology brochure.


The Basic Geological Story of White Sands
Visit the NPS's Explore Geology page to learn more about the formation of the gypsum dunefield.


Geological Overview of White Sands National Monument
A link to the dissertation by Dr. Fryberger that provides a comprehensive look at the geology of the dunefield and the Tularosa Basin.


The Geology of the Sand Dunes
Former Chief of Interpretation John Mangimeli wrote this document on the monument's geology.


LiDAR Surveys of Gypsym Dune Fields in White Sands National Monument
Project summary of recent research using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey techniques at White Sands.


Geology Report, November 2012
This report accompanies the digital geologic and geomorphic map data for White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, produced by the Geologic Resources Division in collaboration with its partners. It contains information relevant to resource management and scientific research.

Did You Know?

Aerial photo of dunes

The white sands dunefield is an active dunefield. The dunes move from west to east as much as thirty feet per year.