• The dunes in soft light

    White Sands

    National Monument New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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.

News Release Archive

White Sands National Monument to Host Fourth Annual Holiday Open House
NOVEMBER 22, 2011 Alamogordo, N.M. - The public is invited to join in a special holiday open house at White Sands National Monument on Friday, December 2, 2011. For more information...

 

National Park Service and El Paso Bike Club Partner to Host Free Kids' Bicycle Rodeo Event
OCTOBER 17, 2011 El Paso, TX -- On Saturday, November 5th from 1 - 4 p.m. the National Park Service and El Paso Bicycle Club will co-host its first Bicycle Rodeo for Kids at Chamizal National Memorial. This event is free. Children wishing to participate will need to bring an adult, their bicycle, and a helmet. A limited number of helmets will be available for loan during the event for those children who don't have one. On-site registration will open at 12:30 p.m. on November 5th. For more information...

 

White Sands to Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Fee Free Entry and Star Party
September 22, 2011 Alamogordo, NM - White Sands National Monument will be joining national park units across the country in celebrating National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on September 24 with fee free entry into the monument. In addition, White Sands will host a star party, offer a storewide discount in the monument's bookstore, and extend it hours from 7 am-10 pm. For more information...

 

New Museum and Film Unveiled at White Sands
JULY 27, 2011 ALAMOGORDO, NM -- For the first time in over 30 years, White Sands National Monument has installed all new museum exhibits in the park's visitor center. The new state of the art exhibits tell the story of the geology of the world's largest gypsum dunefield, the unique plants and animals that have adapted to it, and how humans have used White Sands throughout history. An all new high definition orientation film, entitled A Land in Constant Motion, complements the exhibits with stunning cinematography. For more information...

 

White Sands Named One of the Best Family Parks
July 7, 2011 LAS CRUCES - White Sands National Monument was picked by Open Road Travel Guides as one of the best family-friendly national parks in its second edition. The monument, located about 45 miles east of Las Cruces on U.S. Highway 70, was among 21 national parks chosen by Open Road's Best National Parks with Kids. The travel guide chose the parks that offer the best vacation for the whole family. The 275-square-mile park contains the world's largest gypsum deposit. Visitors can picnic, play in the dunes or just walk around and relax. Sunset strolls are also held every evening, offering opportunities to see the plants and animals of the dune field. Also popular are the Full Moon Nights, with live music and educational programs. Authors Permenter and Bigley include color photos and maps for each park. They also feature itineraries, family-friendly hiking trails and attractions. Web sources are also available for planning your trip. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is also featured in the new edition of Open Road's Best National Parks with Kids. Carlsbad Caverns is near Carlsbad and features more than 117 caves. For more information about White Sands National Monument, contact park information at (575) 679-2599 or go to www.nps.gov/whsa.

 

Significant Fossil Discoveries Made in Park
Alamogordo, N.M. - Over the last four years, hundreds of fossilized tracks have been found throughout White Sands National Monument, greatly expanding the number of fossil track sites known from the Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico. These tracks are thought to possibly represent one of the largest concentrations of Cenozoic tracks within the United States and possibly the world. Print copy of release.

 

Woman Dies While Hiking in White Sands National Monument
Alamogordo, N.M. - A 23-year old woman from Sheldon, Iowa, died today (June 15, 2011) while hiking the Alkali Flat Trail in White Sands National Monument. Print a copy of the press release.

 

White Sands National Monument Proposes to Construct a New Comfort Station
The National Park Service proposed to construct new restrooms at White Sands National Monument. The purpose of this project is to provide safe, healthy, and accessible restroom facilities for monument visitors. A new comfort station is needed to provide an improved visitor experience for White Sands’ nearly 475,000 annual visitors. Print copy of release.

 

Foundation Plan Meeting
White Sands National Monument hosted a public meeting on February 5, 2009, to gain input and ideas for the park’s future management. The meeting is part of continued public conversation that will lead to the publication of a Foundation Planning Document later this summer. For more information, download the press release.

 

NASA Eyes White Sands National Monument for Testing Mars Equipment
Crawling over the surface of Mars, looking for life, the rover keeps plugging along and finding information. Here on Earth, scientists are practicing for more planetary exploration, and they have found the best analog to Mars on Earth: White Sands National Monument. For more information, download the press release.

 

National Park Service Centennial Challenge
White Sands National Monument will benefit from among the national proposals National Park Service Director Mary Bomar and Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced at a press conference in Yosemite National Park today to celebrate the 91st anniversary of the NPS. For more information...

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."