Last updated: October 19, 2023
Explore the White Sands Backcountry to catch a view of gorgeous landscape with the stunning San Andres Mountains to the west. Along the Backcountry Camping Loop Trail, you're likely to see bleached earless lizards, towering soaptree yuccas, and the occasional white moth. This loop is also a good place to see a fiery White Sands sunset.
- This is a 2 mile loop (3.2 kilometers) that is rated as moderate to strenous and climbs 40-50 foot (12-15 m) dunes throughout
- This hike takes an average of 2-3 hours to complete
- Follow the orange spade trail markers to complete the trail. If you're unable to see the next marker, turn around and go back to the trailhead.
- Look carefully for the next trail marker before continuing. If you cannot see the next trail marker because of blowing sand or because the trail marker is knocked down, do not proceed—return to your car. Strong winds can reduce visibility to a few feet, making it easy to become lost.
- Bring plenty of water for your family and pets. One gallon (4 Liters) of water per person per day is recommended, as well as high-energy snacks such as fruit, nuts, and energy bars. Fill up water containers at the visitor center. There is no water available in the dunefield.
- This trail has very little shade. Use adequate sun protection.
- Visit our Hiking Safety page for more recommendations about hiking in the unique conditions of White Sands National Park
- Pets are allowed on a leash of maximum 6 feet length.
- Please remember to clean up after your pet.
- Pets need plenty of water!
- Learn more about bringing your pet to White Sands National Park
The park's only accessible trail is the Interdune Boardwalk.