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.
Leave No Trace
With increasing visitor use, both day and overnight, it is important to minimize our impacts and Leave No Trace of our visits to wilderness, parks and other special places. Trips that include awareness and the use of minimum impact practices conserve natural conditions of the outdoors which make the adventure enjoyable and allow others the same experience.
Leave No Trace is simple, whether you are hiking or camping in the park's backcountry campground. At its heart it is a set of seven principles which can be applied in any natural setting to minimize human impacts on the environment. Following the Leave No Trace principles and combining them with your personal judgment, awareness, and experience will help protect precious park natural and cultural resources and preserve the park experience for you and for future visitors.
Please learn and practice Leave No Trace skills and ethics and pass them on to those you come in contact with. It's easy to enjoy and protect the park simultaneously.
For more information stop by the park's Visitor Center, or visit the Leave No Trace website.
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Travel and Camp on Renewable Surfaces
· When traveling cross-country, avoid the fragile interdune areas with their easily damaged cryptobiotic crusts (dark, bumpy surface in these low lying areas).
Dispose of Waste Properly
Leave What You Find
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Leave No Trace is a national program which promotes the protection of our nation's wildlands through education, research, and partnerships. Leave No Trace teaches minimum impact hiking and camping skills and wildland ethics and builds awareness, appreciation, and respect for our public recreation places. The four federal land management agencies: the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service all promote the Leave No Trace message. Working with outdoor retailers, educators, and user groups these federal agencies are helping to make Leave No Trace the common language for all outdoor enthusiasts.
Did You Know?
Some species of plants can survive burial by a moving dune by a process called "stem elongation." As the sand rises, the plants quickly grow upward to keep their leaves above the rising sand.