• The dunes in soft light

    White Sands

    National Monument New Mexico

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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.

News Releases

Solicitation for Concession Proposals
May 30, 2014. Alamogordo, NM - The National Park Service announces the release of a prospectus for the award of a new concession contract to provide retail and limited food and beverage services at the gift shop facility within White Sands National Monument. Download the full press release.

 

White Sands Reopens for Holiday Weekend
February 15, 2014 Alamogordo, NM -- Dunes Drive, the eight-mile scenic drive in White Sands National Monument, will open at 8 a.m. on Sunday, February 16, 2014. Dunes Drive was closed for eight days to allow for the recovery and cleanup of a QF-4 drone from Holloman Air Force Base that crashed in the monument on February 7, 2014. Download the full press release.

 

Unmanned Airplane Crashed in White Sands National Monument
February 7, 2014 Alamogordo, NM -- At approximately 9:08 a.m. today an unmanned QF-4 drone from Holloman Air Force Base crashed in White Sands National Monument. No injuries occurred. There is no threat to the public at this time. Dunes Drive in the monument will remain closed indefinitely while staff from Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range investigate the crash site. Download the full press release.

 

White Sands will Reduce Monument Hours after Labor Day
August 29, 2013. Alamogordo, NM - White Sands National Monument will open at 8 a.m. and close approximately one hour after sunset from September 3 through December 31, 2013. The monument will continue to offer visitor services and planned programming within the new operating hours. The new hours reflect changes in monument staffing and a reduction in the monument's budget in 2013. For example, monument staff found that they were not able to safely provide adequate coverage for the operating hours of 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. during summer months. Download the full press release.

 

White Sands National Monument Creates $15,812,000 in Local Economic Benefit
February 26, 2013. Alamogordo, NM - A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 428,900 visitors to White Sands National Monument spent $15,812,000 in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 233 jobs in the local area. Download the full press release.

 

White Sands National Monument Will Conduct a Research Campfire Test Burn
February 20, 2013 Alamogordo, NM -- On February 21, 2013 White Sands National Monument plans to conduct a test burn with two small, ephemeral campfires on an active gypsum sand dune near the administrative complex within the monument. For more information, download the full press release.

 

An Inter-agency Search Effort Successfully Rescues Lost Hikers
Alamogordo, N.M. - On Monday, January 9, 2012, at approximately 3:45 pm, White Sands National Monument received word that two visitors had been hiking within the dunes since 12:00 noon and were lost and unable to find their way out. Russell Vandameer and Karen Renshaw, both of Oklahoma, left to go hiking with their three dogs, Stitch, Suzy, and Griswald. After finding a suitably beautiful spot within the dunes, Vandemeer proposed to Renshaw. The newly engaged couple then attempted to hike back to their car, but were unable to find their way back. Rather than continue to wander, becoming more lost, they contacted a cousin via cell phone and requested that help be sent... Download the full press release.

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.