Bicycling at White Sands is truly a unique experience—nowhere else in the world can you ride a bike on a hard-packed gypsum sand road through the heart of an immense gypsum dunefield! This distinctive experience requires one to be a prepared and alert cyclist.
The following tips will help you have a more enjoyable and safe riding experience along Dunes Drive.
What kind of bike is best for Dunes Drive?
Rangers are frequently asked this question, and the response is, "It depends." The answer typically depends on the condition of the road. Dunes Drive is eight miles one-way. The first four miles are paved, and the rest of the road is hard-packed gypsum sand. Dunes Drive will frequently have a rough "washboard" surface, potholes, and sand drifts. These hazards make riding a bike on Dunes Drive challenging. Experienced riders on mountain and city/beach cruiser bikes with wide tires should be able to handle the varied road conditions and hazards. Road bikes with skinny street tires are not recommend on the sand-portion of Dunes Drive due to the above-listed hazards.
During periods of heavy rain or snow, Dunes Drive will be very slick with water, snow, and/or ice. The sand portion of the road may be unpassable on a bike. Call the park to check on the road conditions if you are planning to ride your bike in the park.
Off-Road Travel is Not Permitted
Fat tire and mountain bikes are perfect for exploring Dunes Drive. Their ability to float over the sand may make it tempting to ride your fat tire or mountain bike on the dunes. Off-road travel on a bike will result in a fine of $50 with a $30 processing fee (36 CFR 4.30 (a)).
Entrance Fees for Cyclists
Park entrance fees apply to visitors entering on a bike.
Last updated: January 2, 2020