• 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 »

  • 2014 WHITE SANDS BALLOON INVITATIONAL

    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 Alamogordo Balloon Fiesta Park. For more information call 800-826-0294 or (575) 437-6120.

  • 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.

Geology

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?

Photo of yucca growing on a dune

Some species of plants can survive burial by a moving dune by a process called "stem elongation." As the sand rises, the plants quickly grow upward to keep their leaves above the rising sand.