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
White Sands National Monument will open at 8 a.m. and close approximately one hour after sunset from September 3 through December 31, 2013. Beginning on January 1, 2014, the monument will open at 9 a.m. and close approximately 1 hour after sunset. More »
Road Work in the Monument
From Oct. 1 until further notice, a paving project will affect Dunes Drive and the visitor center and gift shop parking lots. Please be alert for changes in traffic patterns and potential traffic delays along Dunes Drive. We appreciate your flexibility.
Closed on Christmas Day
The monument, including Dunes Drive and the visitor center, will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25, 2013.
Dune Life Nature Trail
Distance from Visitor Center: 2.5 miles (4 km)
Length of trail: One mile (1.6 km) loop
Description of trail: This is your first opportunity to walk on the sand. The trail is marked by orange posts buried in the sand. This trail is located along the edge of the dune field and is more heavily vegetated than other sections of the dunefield. The trail starts down on the desert plain and is level for the first 300 yards before going up a steep slope onto the sand dunes.
Trailside exhibits interpret the wildlife of the White Sands. Each exhibit panel has two sets of information--one for adults and one for kids.
This is NOT a play area. The trail is for nature study. You may play out in the Heart of the Sands near the picnic areas, away from plants and away from the road.
Did You Know?
While the wind piles the sand grains into dunes, the dunes move forward under the force of gravity. As the leading edge of the dune ("slipface") gets steeper, gravity pulls an avalanche of sand down the slipface, moving the dune forward.