• 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 »


    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 Ed Brabson Balloon Park on Lavelle Rd in Alamogordo. Call Pat at (575) 430-9226 from 8-5 pm MDT.

  • 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.

Early Entry - Stay Late

Sunset at the dunes
R.Wiles image

Many National Park Service areas may be entered any time, day or night, at sunrise or sunset to view wildlife. At White Sands National Monument, we share our boundaries with the U.S. Military at Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range. Due to security issues, the monument has specific posted hours of operation.

That being said, it is possible to enter the monument early or to stay past closing for a fee of $50 for each hour that we must open early or close late. The FAQ sheet that we've put together will answer many of the questions you may have.

If you would like to schedule and Early Entry/Stay Late date, please download the general
permit conditions
along with the application and follow the instructions included in them to reserve your date.

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."