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 »
New Monument Hours
The monument currently opens at 8 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.
Backcountry Primitive Camping (Backpacking)
For those who would like to spend a night camping beneath the stars in the dunes, White Sands National Monument has ten primitive backcountry camping sites available on a first-come-first-served basis. These sites are accessible by hiking the backcountry trail and are located between 3/4 of a mile to 1.1 miles from the start of the trailhead. There are no water or toilet facilities at the campsites. Ground fires are not allowed but camp stoves that use containerized fuel are permitted.
To obtain a backcountry camping permit, campers can stop into the visitor center up until
Safety: Your safety is our primary concern. Always have at least a gallon of water per person when you are hiking or camping in the dunes. Water containers can be filled at the visitor center. The trail is well marked. Follow the markers to your campsite. We recommend that you try to be in your campsite before sunset, as it is very easy to get lost on the trail after dark. Please remember to carry out all trash.
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.