• The dunes in soft light

    White Sands

    National Monument New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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.

Full Moon Hikes


Basic Information

Have you ever wondered what the dunes look like under the glow of the moon? Join a ranger for a full moon hike and see firsthand the dunes in a whole new light.

Cost: There will be a program fee of $8 per person for anyone 16 and older and $4 for 15 and under in addition to monument entrance fees. You must pay the fees for the hike at the entrance station. If you still have a valid monument entrance receipt (no older than 6 days) then you do not need to pay the monument entrance fee again. The ranger will look at your receipt when checking you in for the hike.

How to prepare: Closed-toe shoes are required. Bring water and a light jacket in case the evening is cool. While photography is encouraged, no flash photography is allowed. Neither are flashlights or headlamps. Children are allowed but must be closely supervised. Individuals must be able to walk the full 1.5 miles. For safety reasons, the group must remain together for the duration of the hike.

Accessibility: Due to steep trails, this activity is not wheelchair accessible. If you have night blindness or have a difficult time seeing outdoors at night, this hike is not recommended as flashlights and headlamps are not allowed. It is also not recommended for those with mobility issues (knee or leg join problems) as the hike requires visitors to hike up two tall dunes.

Pets: Pets are allowed as long as they are friendly and on a leash at all times.

How to Reserve Your Spot

Reservations are required: Reservations will only be accepted during the registration period (two weeks prior to the scheduled hike). Please make your reservations early because only 40 participants are allowed per trip. The hike fills up very fast, often within a few hours after the form is posted. Trip details will be given out to registered participants.

When a form will be available: To help mitigate any server issues or other circumstances, we usually have the form uploaded onto the website the night before registration opens. There are occasions when this does not happen due to various reasons (staffing, server problems, etc). In those instances, we try to have the form available no later than 9:00 am on the morning that registration opens. Forms will not be accepted before 8:00 am MDT on the day registration opens (see note below). Directions for submitting the form are below.

Please note: Forms are processed in the order they are received according to the date/time stamp on them (faxes included). Any forms received before 8:00 am MDT on the day registration opens will not be processed.

Large Groups

BOY SCOUTS AND OTHER LARGE GROUPS - Because spaces are limited, we cannot allow large groups to register for the public full moon hike, even if you send in multiple forms of 5 participants each. If you have a large group such as a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop and would like to go on the full moon hike, please contact us at (575) 479-6124 ext. 232 and we will see if we can accommodate your group. Accommodation is not guaranteed.

2014 Full Moon Hike Schedule

No hikes are scheduled to take place November 2013 through April 2014.

May 2014 Full Moon Hike - 7:45pm Tuesday, May 13
Registration is full.

June 2014 Full Moon Hike - 8:00 pm Wednesday, June 11
Registration is full.

July 2014 Full Moon Hike - 8:00 pm Friday, July 11
Registration is full.

August 2014 Full Moon Hike - 7:45 pm Saturday, August 9
Registration is full.

September 2014 Full Moon Hike - 7:00 pm Sunday, September 7
Registration is full.

October 2014 Full Moon Hike - 6:30 pm Tuesday, October 7
Registration is full

Join us for our new program, Sunrise Photography, which is an early morning program focused on amateur sunrise photography. For more information...


Directions for Submitting the Form

When you download the form, you will see three buttons in the upper right-hand corner of the form itself. The following will explain what the three buttons do.

1) Email Form:
Desktop Email Clients:
Use this button if you have and use an email client such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora Mail, or other desktop email clients. This button will open your email client and attach the form to an email for you. All you need to do is fill in the "To" and "Subject" fields. You must save the form (instructions below) before attempting to attach it to an email in order to preserve the information you entered into the fields. Otherwise, the form will be sent to us blank. Make sure to click on "Send Copy" if it asks you how you would like to send it. If you choose "Send Link", we will not receive it.

Web-based Email Clients: If you use a web-based client, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail, you will also need to save the completed PDF file to your computer using the steps below. Then, sign into your email account in your browser. Compose a new email, just as you would normally, and attach the PDF form to your email using the procedures for your particular email provider.

2) Save Form:
This button will save the PDF to your computer. After you have filled it out, click the Save Form button. This will open the "Save A Copy" dialog window. Enter a file name and save it to a location that you can easily access it from.

3) Print Form:
This button will send the PDF to your default printer. If you do not wish to email it, then this way you can mail or fax the form back to us.

Did You Know?

Photo of white lizard

Three species of lizards, one pocket mouse and numerous species of insects have evolved a white coloration for survival in the white sands.