• The dunes in soft light

    White Sands

    National Monument New Mexico

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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.

Invasive Species

Invasive species, or non-native plants or animals that have been introduced into an area, are often very detrimental to native plants, animals and ecosystems. At White Sands National Monument, various measures have been devised to help reduce the effect these organisms have on the park's delicate ecosystem.

 

Oryx
A native of the Kalahari Desert, the African oryx, or gemsbok (Oryx gazella), is a large antelope that now lives in southern New Mexico.

 

Tamarisk
Introduced as an ornamental plant from Asia in the late 1800s, the Tamarisk, or Salt Cedar, has become a problem for many areas throughout New Mexico.

 

African Rue
African Rue was first brought to the United States for its use in making dyes. Due to its aggressive growth, it has since been classified as an invasive species.

Did You Know?

Photo of ripples on a dune

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."