• The dunes in soft light

    White Sands

    National Monument New Mexico

Sledding

Sledding down the slip face of dunes is a popular activity at White Sands National Monument. Most sledders use waxed plastic snow saucers (which can be purchased at the park gift shop). Choose a dune that is away from the roadway and parking areas and is free of vegetation.


Sliding downhill is an exhilarating sport. The proper position for sledding is to sit or lay on your back on the top of the sled, with your feet pointing downhill. Sledding head first increases the risk of head injury and should be avoided. Do not stand up while sledding. While the dune sand is soft, the area at the base of the dune can be very hard, and unintentional injuries are surprisingly common.

Children ages 5 to 9 are most susceptible to injury. Parents of young children should not let them sled alone. Older children should be taught to check for hazards. Sled on spacious, gently sloping dunes which have a level run-off at the end so that the sled can come to a halt safely. Make sure the sledding path does not cross traffic and is free from hazards such as vegetation, rocks, or other obstructions.

 
slender sliding down dunes
Visitors enjoying a favorite pastime at White Sands - sledding

Did You Know?

Aerial photo of dunes

The white sands dunefield is an active dunefield. The dunes move from west to east as much as thirty feet per year.