Lake Lucero Tours

Group walking to Lake Lucero



What is the Lake Lucero tour?

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 in January, February, March, April, November, and December. Reservations are required.

Reserving Your Spot

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. The fees are $8 per person ages 16 and older, $4 per child ages 15 and under. There are no pass discounts for this program.

2016 Tour Dates

  • Saturday, January 30 at 2 pm. Registration will open at 8:00 am Mountain Time on December 30, 2015.
  • Sunday, February 28 at 2 pm. Registration will open at 8:00 am Mountain Time on January 28, 2016. Download reservation form.
  • Saturday, March 26 at 9 am. Registration will open at 8:00 am Mountain Time on February 26, 2016.
  • Sunday, April 24 at 9 am. Registration will open at 8:00 am Mountain Time on March 24, 2016.
  • Saturday, November 26 at 10 am. Registration will open at 8:00 am Mountain Time on October 26, 2016.
  • Saturday, December 31 at 10 am. Registration will open at 8:00 am Mountain Time on November 30, 2016.

*The form currently works only in the Internet Explorer web browser. The form can be downloaded in other web browsers but you will be unable to save the information in the form. If possible, please print the form and scan it in if you are unable to save the information in the form. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please call 575-479-6124 x232 with questions about the form or e-mail us at

Download Lake Lucero travel map

Download Lake Lucero brochure

La Caminata de Lake Lucero

Difficulty and Accessibility

The difficulty of this hike is moderate. The 1.5 mile round trip hike is not on a maintaned trail and leads through an arroyo. 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 Lake Lucero Tour may be canceled due to inclement weather or missile testing. Call the monument at 575-479-6124 ext. 236 prior to date of program to confirm the program is still scheduled.

How to get to the start of the tour

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

Safety Information

  • 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 and from the lake shore is 1.5 miles 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.


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