News Release

White Sands National Monument Addresses Infrastructure Needs & Improves Visitor Experience

Katie the Kit Fox interpretive trail sign along the Dune Life Nature Trail.
Kids enjoy learning about the animals of White Sands along the Dune Life Nature Trail.

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: December 7, 2018

Contact: Marie Sauter, (575) 479-6124 x 210

White Sands National Monument Addresses Infrastructure Needs & Improves Visitor Experience

Alamogordo, NM - National parks have experienced record-breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Throughout the country, the combination of aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, restrooms, and other visitor services and led to an $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide. 

Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. In White Sands National Monument, 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor.

In April 2018, the National Park Service announced service-wide fee increases for all entrance-fee charging parks. Therefore, White Sands will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience. Effective January 1, 2019, the entrance fees to the park will be $20 per vehicle, $10 per person, and $15 per motorcycle. All of the money received from entrance fees remains with the National Park Service with 80 percent of the revenue staying at White Sands.

The revenue from entrance fees at White Sands has enabled rehabilitation of the monument’s 1930s era sewage system and replacement of all cedar rail fences.  Currently, needed repairs to the park’s accessible Interdune Boardwalk trail and restoration of the porch poles of the historic Spanish pueblo-adobe visitor center are in progress.

Entrance fees collected by White Sands for the last ten years have totaled $4.6 million and have been used to add new vault restrooms and picnic shelters in the dunes area, install new museum exhibits in 2010, add new interpretive signage to road pull-offs and hiking trails, and develop education curriculum for K-12 students.  

White Sands has charged an entrance fee since 1937 and the current rate of $5 per person has been in effect since 2016. The park is one of 117 National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee; the other 301 national parks remain free to enter. 

The National Park Service has a standardized entrance fee structure, composed of four groups based on park size and type. Some parks not yet aligned with the other parks in their category will raise their fees incrementally and fully incorporate the new entrance fee schedule by January 1, 2020.

On January 1, 2019 the complete fee schedule at White Sands will change according to the following:

White Sands National Monument
Park Specific Annual Pass
Current X $5 X $30
Jan 1, 2019 $20 $10 $15 $40
Jan 1, 2020 $25 $15 $20 $45

The price of annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.  The Access Pass remains free. For more information visit:

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Last updated: December 7, 2018

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Holloman AFB, NM 88330


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