• 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 Alamogordo Balloon Fiesta Park in Alamogordo, NM. For more information call 800-826-0294 or (575) 437-6120.

  • 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.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Download 2014 gate opening/closing hours. This document contains our hours of operation from January through December 2014.

 

The monument is open daily year round. The only day of the year that we are scheduled to be closed is Christmas Day, December 25.

UNEXPECTED CLOSURES - Especially during the winter and occasionally throughout the year, there are times when the park may have to close due to bad roads or weather. During these times, the website may not contain the most up-to-date information because the website cannot be updated from outside of the park's offices. However, the park does try its best to notify the public. In case of unexpected closures, the information will be available at the following locations in order of priority as soon as possible:

1) Local radio stations KUPR-FM 91.7 and KRWG-FM 90.7
2) Our Facebook and Twitter pages
3) New Mexico Department of Transportation Road Conditions

Winter hours: (January 1, 2014 - March 8, 2014)

Visitor Center 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. The Dunes Drive may be entered from 8:00 am. to sunset. No vehicles may enter the Dunes Drive after sunset. All visitors must exit the park by one hour after sunset. The visitor center is closed on Christmas day. Download park gate hours from link at top of page for specific inbound gate and park closing times.

Spring hours: (March 9, 2014 - May 18, 2014)

Visitor Center 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. Hours for the Dunes Drive change during this period. They are as follows:

  • March 9 to May 16 - The Dunes Drive may be entered from 8:00 am. to 7:00 p.m. Visitors must exit by 8:00 p.m.
  • May 17 to May 18 - The Dunes Drive may be entered from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visitors must exit by 9:00 p.m.

No vehicles may enter the Dunes Drive after sunset. Download park gate hours from link at top of page for specific inbound gate and park closing times.

Summer hours (May 19, 2014 - September 28, 2014)

Visitor Center 8:00 am - 7:00 pm. Hours for the Dunes Drive change during this period. They are as follows:

  • May 19 to May 31 - The Dunes Drive may be entered from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visitors must exit by 9:00 p.m.
  • June 1 to September 3 - The Dunes Drive may be entered from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visitors must exit by 9:00 p.m.
  • September 4 to September 28 - The Dunes Drive may be entered from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Visitors must exit by 8:00 p.m.

No vehicles may enter the Dunes Drive after sunset. Download park gate hours from link at top of page for specific inbound gate and park closing times.

Fall hours (September 29, 2014 - December 21, 2014)

Visitor Center 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. The Dunes Drive may be entered from 8:00 am to 7:00 p.m. All visitors must exit the park by 8:00 p.m. Download park gate hours from link at top of page for specific inbound gate and park closing times.

Holiday hours (December 22, 2014 - December 31, 2014)

Visitor Center 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. The Dunes Drive may be entered from 9:00 am to sunset. No vehicles may enter the Dunes Drive after sunset. All visitors must exit the park by one hour after sunset. Download park gate hours from link at top of page for specific inbound gate and park closing times.

Special Note: Due to missile testing on the adjacent White Sands Missile Range, it is occasionally necessary, for visitor safety, to close the Dunes Drive for periods of up to three hours. U.S. Highway 70/82 between Alamogordo and Las Cruces is also closed during times of missile testing. Visitors on a tight schedule are encouraged to call the day prior to arrival for information on closures.

 
 

Did You Know?

Photo of animal tracks

Most desert animals are nocturnal, coming out to feed only at night when temperatures are cooler. Every animal in the white sands makes tracks on the dunes as it moves, leaving clues to its nocturnal activities.