Monument Regulations

Two law enforcement rangers standing on each side of a patrol car surrounded by white sand dunes
White Sands law enforcement prioritizes visitor safety.

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White Sands National Monument wants to help visitors stay safe during their visits. By following the regulations below everyone can have a safe visit to the monument.
Two bottles on picnic table under shelter

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Alcohol Prohibition

Alcohol consumption and/or the possession of alcoholic beverages or receptacles used to store alcoholic beverages are prohibited within the monument from February 1st through May 31st for the purpose of protecting visitor safety during the busy spring season (WSNM Superintendent’s Compendium §2.35).
Law enforcement ranger rides bicycle in the dunes

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Bicycling is allowed on the asphalt and packed gypsum. Off road bicycling into the dunes and/or interdunal areas is prohibited. (WSNM Superintendent’s Compendium § 4.3) Helmets are required for all minors and recommended for all riders. Bicyclists must pay the standard park entrance fee. New Mexico state laws also apply.
Handprint in the sand

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Collection of Plants and Animals

Help preserve the history and significance of our monument! Please remember the removal of any of our natural or cultural resources is prohibited. Resources include but are not limited to: paleontological, archeological and Native American artifacts, as well as gypsum sand and selenite crystals (36 CFR 2.1 &. WSNM Superintendent’s Compendium § 2.1).
Drone flying

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Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft, such as a drone, within White Sands National Monument is prohibited. See WSNM Superintendent’s Compendium §1.5 G for additional information. Unauthorized aircraft activity within the monument also violates military airspace and potentially creates safety hazards to military operations.
Firearm in leather case attached to belt

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As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law was instated, allowing people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park.

It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit New Mexico's state home page.

Federal law prohibits the possession of firearms in designated federal facilities including the visitor center, administration building, entrance station, gift shops including concession-operated gift shops, and maintenance buildings (§2.4 WSNM Superintendent’s Compendium).
Hand holding match lit with flame

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Due to potential damage to our resources; all use and/or possession of fireworks, including but not limited to firecrackers, is prohibited (36 CFR §2.38).
Two riders on horses galloping through sand

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Horses and Pack Animals

Horses and other pack animals are welcome in White Sands National Monument; within certain guidelines (please refer to §2.16 of the WSNM Superintendent’s Compendium). Prior to entering the monument, a day-use permit (free of charge) must be obtained and completed at the visitor center or fee station.
Metal objects in the sand

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Metal Detectors

The use of metal detectors within the monument is also prohibited under federal regulation 36 CFR 2.1. White Sands is surrounded by an active missile range and metal objects found in the sand have the potential to be unexploded ordinance.
A dog stands attached to a leash

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Leashing your pet ensures your much-loved friend doesn't run away and get lost. It also prevents them from tangling with hazards such as cacti and rattlesnakes. Federal law prohibits dogs from being off the leash in public areas (36 CFR 2.15). The leash can be no longer than six feet (2 m).
White 25 mph  speed limit sign along a sand road

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Traffic Regulations

Speed limits are posted and strictly enforced. Driving off the established roadways and parking areas is not permitted. Please park only in established parking areas. Refer to 36 CFR §4.1-4.31 for additional information.
Spikes green yucca against sunset sky

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Transporting Plants and Animals

Introducing wildlife, fish, or plants, including their reproductive bodies, into the park ecosystems is prohibited (36 CFR §2.1). This is to ensure invasive species do not damage the existing resources. Examples include Christmas trees and firewood.
Learn more: Download a variety of regulations documents as PDFs, including the Superintendents Compendium.

Last updated: March 20, 2017

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 1086
Holloman AFB, NM 88330


(575) 479-6124

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