• 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 »

  • 2014 WHITE SANDS BALLOON INVITATIONAL

    The White Sands Balloon Committee and the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce will be hosting both days of the Balloon Festival on Sept 20-21 at the Ed Brabson Balloon Park on Lavelle Rd in Alamogordo. Call Pat at (575) 430-9226 from 8-5 pm MDT.

  • 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.

Event Details

  • Multiple Days: 01/26/2014, 02/22/2014, 03/30/2014, 04/27/2014, 11/29/2014, 12/28/2014

    Location: Small Missile Range Gate Time: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Fee Information: $3 per adult, $1.50 per child

Have you ever wondered how the white sands formed? Take a tour to Lake Lucero with a ranger and learn about the formation of the sands and the special plants and animals that live in and around the dunes. These three-hour ranger-guided tours to the playa (dry lakebed) of Lake Lucero are offered once a month and reservations are required.

 

Reservations can be made by following the instructions below and can be made no more than one month in advance of the tour date. A special use fee is charged for the tour: $3.00 per person ages 16 and older, $1.50 for children and to holders of the Golden Age Pass. National Park/Golden Eagle Passports and the White Sands Annual Pass do not apply for this special tour. Visit http://www.nps.gov/whsa/planyourvisit/lake-lucero-tours.htm to make reservations.

 

DIFFICULTY OF THE HIKE- Moderate. The 1.5 mile round trip hike is through an arroyo and is not a maintained trail. The soil is loose and the terrain can be rough. This hike is not wheelchair accessible and is not recommended for those with impaired mobility.

The tour will begin at the Small Missile Range Gate intersection with US Highway 70, 25 miles west of White Sands National Monument headquarters, between mileposts 174 and 175. The trip will return to the Small Missile Range Gate

  • Cameras are welcome on the tour but may not be used until we arrive at the trailhead and are inside the gate on monument land.
  • You will caravan in your own car from the gate to the trailhead (17.5 miles one way or 35 miles roundtrip). Have a full tank of gas before leaving home and a spare tire in case of a flat.
  • No sandals or open-toed shoes. Closed-toed shoes such as hiking boots or stout walking shoes are required.
  • The tour is three hours long, two of which will be outside. Bring snacks, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for everyone in your group. Dress accordingly for the weather.
  • At least a gallon of water per person is required, otherwise you will not be allowed to attend the tour. Water is essential! One or two 20-ounce bottles of water is not enough! Dehydration and heat exhaustion can set in incredibly fast, especially in the summer when temperatures can soar well above 100°F (38°C), and can quickly result in death. Yes, it is absolutely required and no, you do not have to carry the entire gallon but it is expected that you have at least 2 liters per person while walking to the lake bed. Rangers will NOT have extra water to give to visitors on the tour.
  • The hike to the lake shore is 3/4 of a mile over rough terrain and loose soils. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Pets are welcome as long as they are friendly and remain on a leash.
  • Per missile range rules, no concealed carry weapons are allowed on the tour.