• 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.

Missile Closures

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.

 

UPCOMING CLOSURES


There will be no overnight camping on Thursday 23 October, 2014.
Park will remain closed until 8 AM. on Friday 24 October, 2014.

There will be no overnight camping on Wednesday 29 October, 2014.
Park wide Evacuation will occur on 30 October, 2014.
Inbound gates will close at 11:AM and all visitors will return to the visitors center no later than 12:15 PM. The monument will reopen at 1:30 PM.
Highway 70W will be blocked at Red and Yellow checkpoints.

There will be no overnight camping on Sunday 2 November, 2014.
Park wide Evacuation will occur on Monday 3 November, 2014
Inbound gates will close at 09:45 AM. and all visitors will return to the visitors center no later than 11 AM. The monument will reopen at 2:15 PM.
highway 70W will be blocked at Red and Yellow checkpoints.

There will be no overnight camping on Monday 3 November, 2014.
Monument will remained closed until 09:30 AM. on Tuesday 4 November, 2014.
Highway 70W will be blocked at Red and Yellow checkpoints.

There will be no overnight camping on Tuesday 4 November, 2014
Monument will remained closed until 09:30 AM. on Wednesday 5 November, 2014.
Highway 70W will be blocked at Red and Yellow checkpoints.

There will be no overnight camping on Thursday 6 November, 2014.
Monuments will remained closed until 08:30 AM on Friday 7 November, 2014.
Highway 70W will be blocked at Red and Yellow checkpoints.

 

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.