• The dunes in soft light

    White Sands

    National Monument New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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.


Family hiking dunes with dog on leash

R. Wiles

Pets love White Sands...

And why not? To them, it's full of new scents, sights, and excitement! And people love bringing their furry companions with them to the park, too.

Visitors are more than welcome to bring their pets out to White Sands National Monument. There are just a few rules that we ask visitors to observe while visiting.

  • Pick up after your pet.
    This helps keep White Sands clean and beautiful for your enjoyment and for the enjoyment of future generations. Cleaning up after your pet also allows the area to remain sanitary and keeps diseases from spreading—helping you, your family, and your pet stay healthy!
  • Keep pets on a leash.
    Leasing your pet also ensures that your much-loved friend doesn't run away or get lost. It also makes sure that they do not get into things that are bad for them, such as cacti, poisonous and venomous insects, or venomous animals like rattlesnakes. Federal law also prohibits dogs from being off the leash in public areas.
  • Give pets plenty of water.
    Like you, pets get thirsty too. Especially in the summer, they can become dehydrated very quickly.
  • Do not bring pets inside the visitor center.
    While we love seeing pets in the park, they are not allowed in federal buildings. This includes the visitor center. The only exception to this rule is for service animals.
  • Do not leave pets unattended, especially in hot cars.
    During the summer, temperatures at White Sands National Monument can reach extreme highs. It is prohibited for pets to be left unattended. Please do not leave your pet inside your vehicle as within just ten minutes, the inside temperature can become almost 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Within 30 minutes, temperatures can rise to about 30 degrees warmer inside of a vehicle. Pets left in hot vehicles can suffer severe organ damage or even death. See the chart below to see how quickly the inside of your vehicle heats up.
If the outside temperature is... The inside temperature will reach... Within this many minutes...
75º 100º 10 minutes
75º 120º 30 minutes
85º 100º 7 minutes
85º 120º 27 minutes
100º 140º 15 minutes

Did You Know?

Photo of kangaroo rat

Because there is virtually no fresh water within the White sands dunefield, animals that live in the dunes must get almost all their water solely from the food they eat. Desert animals have evolved many ways of conserving moisture. The kangaroo rat eats only dry seeds and never drinks water.