News Release

Visitor Fatality in White Sands National Monument

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Date: June 9, 2019
Contact: Kelly Carroll, 575-520-2604

ALAMOGORDO – At approximately 4:00 pm, Saturday, June 8, 2019, White Sands National Monument rangers responded to a call reporting that a person needed help on the Alkali Flat Trail. Responding park law enforcement rangers discovered an unresponsive male less than one mile from the trailhead.

New Mexico State Police confirmed the death. The National Park Service will be coordinating with the state to investigate the incident. Further information is currently not available.

The daytime high temperature in the monument Saturday reached 99 degrees F.

During the extreme summer heat, it is critical to be prepared and know your limitations. For summer hiking at White Sands, NPS recommends starting in the coolest part of the day, which is early morning or early evening. We recommend that visitors not start a hike when the temperature is at or above 85 degrees F. There is no shade or water along any of the trails in the park.

We also recommend that hikers bring at least one gallon of water per person per day and high­energy snacks. Wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and long pants to help protect skin from the sun. Always have a plan when you hike and tell someone who is not in your party where you are hiking and when you plan to return.
 More information on safety precautions, as well as active safety alerts can be found here:

Last updated: June 9, 2019

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 1086
Holloman AFB, NM 88330


(575) 479-6124

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