• 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.

Special Park Uses

Anyone wishing to have their wedding ceremony at White Sands must first submit an application. Allow at least four business days for processing.

Click here for additional information.


Commercial Filming
Filming and photography requires a permit when the size of a film/photo group, the amount of equipment, or the activity of the film/photo crew has the potential to damage the natural resources or impact the visitor experience.

Whether the final product of the film/photo group is commercial or non-comercial, student, freelance, or non-profit is irrelevant. Impact to the natural resource and/or the visitor experience is the criteria used to manage this activity.

Film/photography crews of three or more people should complete a film/photography application. One or two people taking still photography, using a hand-held video camera, or still or video camera with a tripod do not need a permit. Allow four business days for processing.

Click here for additional information.


Early Entry/Stay Late
The Monument may be entered prior to normal opening time or left after normal closing time with the completion of this paperwork. A $50 per hour charge is required for this service. After hours use may be limited due to staff availability and missile test schedules. Requests must be submitted at least seven business days in advance for processing.

Click here for additional information.


Group Use Area
The Group Use Area is available by reservations only for use by large groups during both day and overnight camping activities. Allow five business days for processing.

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Scattering of Ashes
For those who wish to memorialize a loved one by scattering their ashes at White Sands, a permit is required.

Click here for additional information.


Research and Collection of Resources
Anyone wishing to conduct research at White Sands must first apply and be accepted for a research permit through the office of Resource Management.Allow four business days for processing.

Click here for additional information.


First Amendment Activities
First amendment activities are your constitutional right. However, we do require a permit in advance to assist you in your use of your public lands.

Click here for additional information.


All Other Special Uses
Application and additional information not currently available online. Contact extension 206 at White Sands National Monument 575-479-6124 for further information.

Did You Know?

Photo of hiker on the dunes

Only the top few inches of the gypsum dunes are made of loose sand. Rainwater falling on the dunes dissolves some of the gypsum and cements the sand grains together, creating a crude form of plaster of Paris. This makes the white sand dunes easy to walk on.