• 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 »


    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. 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.

Patio Talks

Ranger Danielle with topo map
NPS Photo

When you attend a Patio Talk, there are so many things you could learn! You may learn about the anatomy of the historic visitor center, the colorful frontier history of the Tularosa Basin, or even how to read tracks in the sand. Or you could simply have your questions answered and pick up tips for enjoying your stay at White Sands National Monument. All you have to do is join a ranger on the visitor center patio!

Programs are offered every day at 1:30 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The rest of the year, Patio Talks are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 pm. These informal programs last about 20 minutes and are a great family activity.

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.