• 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.

Commercial Bus Tours

Motorcoaches and Commercial Buses:

The 16-mile Dunes Drive is suitable for buses. We recommend giving yourself two hours for commercial tours, which will give you ample time to stop at the visitor center and get out and enjoy the dunes.

To reserve your tour, please download the reservation form and return it to us. You can return your form via one of the following ways:

1.) Email it to us at whsa_interpretation@nps.gov and placing the wording "Bus Tour" in the subject line

2.) Fax it to us at (575) 479-1116.


Commercial bus or van tours are charged a set fee based upon the capacity of the vehicle and not on the number of passengers. The fees are as follows:

Seating Capacity Fees

1 to 6 seats $25
7 to 25 seats $40
26 or more seats $100

Step-on Guides:

Park rangers may be available to serve as step-on guides and can be reserved for one-hour on-board presentations. There is no additional fee for this service. If you would like a step-on guide, please make your reservation as early as possible. Once your reservation has been made, contact the monument one to two weeks before your tour to see if a ranger has been assigned to you. For more information, contact the Commercial Bus Tour Coordinator at (575) 479-6124, ext. 232.

Please keep in mind:

  • If requesting a ranger, the start time you request should not be the time you plan to arrive at the monument, but the time you would like to ranger to start the tour. For example, if you expect to arrive at the monument at 9:00 am, but don't want the ranger to start the tour until 9:30 am, request 9:30 am as your start time.
  • If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late for the start of your tour, please call to let us know. Otherwise, due to scheduling issues, we will not be able to provide a step-on guide if you show up later than 15 minutes from your scheduled time.
  • Payment of the entrance fees should be made at the entrance station on the way into the park. Checks should be made out to "National Park Service."
  • Annual, Access, and Senior passes are not valid for commercial tours.

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."