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
White Sands National Monument will open at 8 a.m. and close approximately one hour after sunset from September 3 through December 31, 2013. Beginning on January 1, 2014, the monument will open at 9 a.m. and close approximately 1 hour after sunset. More »
Road Work in the Monument
From Oct. 1 until further notice, a paving project will affect Dunes Drive and the visitor center and gift shop parking lots. Please be alert for changes in traffic patterns and potential traffic delays along Dunes Drive. We appreciate your flexibility.
Closed on Christmas Day
The monument, including Dunes Drive and the visitor center, will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25, 2013.
Seeing the Park on Foot
White Sands National Monument has several trails available to those wishing to do a bit of hiking while visiting. There are five trails in all and they vary in terms of difficulty and what you will see. For more information on the trails themselves, download our Hiking at White Sands brochure.
While we welcome hikers to enjoy these trails, backpacking across the monument is not allowed due to safety concerns and military restrictions.
Your safety is our utmost concern. Please exercise caution when hiking the monument's trails, especially at mid-day or during the heat of summer.
Always take at least a gallon of water per person with you, along with plenty of high-energy snacks such as granola bars to keep your energy up. Water containers can be filled at the visitor center. No water is available in the dunefield.
Never hike alone! Heat stress can set in very quickly, especially in the summer, and can have fatal consequences. Be familiar with the signs of heat exhaustion and know your body's limits.
For more information on what to do if you find yourself in an emergency situation while hiking White Sands, download our Desert Safety brochure.
Pack it in, pack it out. Trash is not only unsightly, it is also unhealthy for both people and the animals that live here in the dunefield. Remember to carry back out everything you carried in with you.
Backcountry Primitive Camping (Backpacking):
Did You Know?
Most desert animals are nocturnal, coming out to feed only at night when temperatures are cooler. Every animal in the white sands makes tracks on the dunes as it moves, leaving clues to its nocturnal activities.