• 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 »

  • New Monument Hours

    The monument currently opens at 8 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.


Area Map
Area Map

Area Map
To download a copy of the above map complete with directions to the monument, click here (77Kb PDF).

White Sands National Monument Map
For a map of White Sands National Monument in its entirety, click here (818Kb PDF)


The Dunes Drive
An eight-mile scenic drive (16 miles round trip) leads from the Visitor Center into the heart of the dunes. Wayside exhibits at pullouts along the drive provide information about the natural history of the park. Numerous parking areas along the drive allow visitors to stop and walk in the white sands.

It takes roughtly 45 minutes to drive the entire route, plus additional time for walking, photography, or stopping at pullouts. A full list of trails in the park can be found here.

To download a detailed map of the Dunes Drive, click here (157kb PDF)


Did You Know?

Photo of sand avalanching

While the wind piles the sand grains into dunes, the dunes move forward under the force of gravity. As the leading edge of the dune ("slipface") gets steeper, gravity pulls an avalanche of sand down the slipface, moving the dune forward.