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.
Due to missile testing on the adjacent White Sands Missile Range, it is occasionally necessary to close the Dunes Drive for periods of up to three hours for visitor safety.
Please note that horseback riding is prohibited during all missile tests that affect the monument. Please contact us in advance to verify whether a test has been scheduled for the date of your visit.
The park visitor center and gift shop remain open during missile range closures. Visitors on a tight schedule should contact the park the day before arriving to check on closures at (575) 479-6124.
US Highway 70 between White Sands National Monument and Las Cruces may also be closed during missile testing. For Highway 70 closure information, call the White Sands Missile Range at (575) 678-1178.
There are no scheduled closures at this time.
Did You Know?
Most desert animals are nocturnal, coming out to feed only at night when temperatures are cooler. Every animal in the white sands makes tracks on the dunes as it moves, leaving clues to its nocturnal activities.