• 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.

Hike Smart

Ranger giving a Hike Smart program

Hike Smart! Learn how to "Hike Smart" with a ranger this summer!

Every Saturday at 5 pm, May 27 through September 2, 2013

Hike Smart is a ranger lead program for both adults and children at White Sands NM this summer. The program is about how to keep yourself as well as the plants and animals whose home you will be traveling through safe.

It is important to know how to explore deserts safely. Hiking is more fun if we are prepared. This program is based on scenarios that will help you learn how to dress, what to bring, basic map and compass use, and outdoor awareness skills. This is an hour long outdoor class.

**Please note that this is not the same as our Junior Ranger program. Children do not earn a badge or patch. For children who would like to earn a badge or patch, the Junior Ranger booklet can be obtained for free at the visitor center desk.

Where: Dune Life Nature Trail - Meet at trailhead
For: Adults and children.
Fee: Program is free; monument entrance fees apply
Bring: Water, hat, sunscreen

Did You Know?

Photo of hiker on the dunes

Only the top few inches of the gypsum dunes are made of loose sand. Rainwater falling on the dunes dissolves some of the gypsum and cements the sand grains together, creating a crude form of plaster of Paris. This makes the white sand dunes easy to walk on.