White Sands Missile Range regularly conducts missile tests. For visitor safety, the only road into the dunefield, Dunes Drive, may be closed for periods of up to three hours during missile tests. Monument staff is usually notified two weeks in advance of scheduled tests; however, notifications from White Sands Missile Range may be received up to 24 hours in advance of a test. Monument staff work to inform the public as far in advance as possible for upcoming tests and monument closures.
Please note that all activity, including: horseback riding, backcountry camping, hiking, sledding, and driving on Dunes Drive is prohibited during all missile tests that require closure of Dunes Drive for visitor safety. Please contact the monument to verify whether a test has been scheduled for the date of your visit.
The monument visitor center and gift shop remain open during missile test closures. Visitors on a tight schedule should contact the park the day before arriving to check on closures at (575) 479-6124 ext 236.
US Highway 70 between White Sands National Monument and Las Cruces may also be closed during missile testing. For Highway 70 closure information, call the White Sands Missile Range at (575) 678-1178.
|Date||Closure Time||Highway 70 Blocked||Backcountry Camping|
|4/27/2017||7:00 am - 10:00 am||Yes||No, 4/26/2017|
|5/5/2017||10:00 am - 1:30 pm||Yes||No, 5/4/2017|
|5/9/2017||10:30 am - 2:00 pm||Yes||No, 5/8/2017|
|5/11/2017||7:00 am - 10:00 am||Yes||No, 5/10/2017|
|5/18/2017||7:00 am - 10:00 am||Yes||No, 5/17/2017|
|6/7/2017||7:00 am - 11:00 am||Yes||No, 6/6/2017|
|6/26/2017****||5:30 pm - 9:00 pm||Yes||No, 6/26/2017|
**** On 6/26/2017 the monument will be closing early at 5:30 pm and will not reopen until 7:00 am on 6/27/2017.