Moonlight Hike

Visitors hiking on the dunes with a full moon on the background.
On nights when the moon is full expect to see your shadow because the moon light will reflect off the sand for quite a bright night.

NPS Photo

Have you ever wanted to hike the dunes under the magical glow of the moon? This is your chance to enjoy the peace and serenity of this elusive environment and experience unique stories of the park. Moonlight hikes are offered March through November, on nights surrounding the full moon. Please see schedule below.


2024 Moonlight Hike schedule:

Date Time
Monday, March 25 7:30 pm
Tuesday, April 23 7:30 pm
Wednesday, May 22 7:30 pm
Saturday, June 22 8:30 pm
Saturday, July 20 8:00 pm
Tuesday, August 20 8:15 pm
Wednesday, September 18 7:15 pm
Wednesday, October 16 6:00 pm
Saturday, November 16 5:00 pm


Tickets are available two months before the day of the tour at 8:00 am Mountain Time (e.g. a tour on April 18, tickets will be on sale at 8:00 am MT on February 18).
Tickets are required for this program and must be purchased through or by calling (1-877-444-6777).Tour fees apply and will be charged by Park entrance fees also apply and will be charged at the park.
The moonlight hike capacity is limited. There is no waitlist for sold-out tours; however, if tickets are canceled, they will be immediately available on
Cancellations must be made by calling or visiting at least 24 hours in advance of program. Refunds will not be granted within 24 hours of the beginning of the program. Refunds cannot be processed by park staff.


Pre-registered participants will meet the ranger at the Dune Life Nature Trail, a 2.3-mile (3.7 km) drive from the fee station, 30 minutes before the program begins. If your name is not on the ranger's list, you will not be allowed to participate in the program.

Tour check-in begins 30-minutes before program start time at the Dune Life Nature Trail. The hike will begin promptly at the stated start time. If you arrive after rangers have left the trailhead, you will not be able to join the hike.


In addition to the park entrance fees, a special program fee of $8 per person ages 16 and older and $4 per child ages 15 and younger also apply. Federal passes such as the America the Beautiful Annual, Senior, and Access passes apply only to the entrance fees and do not cover the special program fee. Park entrance fees and camping fees are non-refundable.

Program length

1.5 - 2 hours

Safety Information

  • Participants must be physically capable of walking a total of one mile (1.6 km) on sand, up and down sand dunes.
  • Children must stay close to parents. This is a night hike, and it is extremely easy to become lost once separated from the group.
  • Be prepared for varying temperatures and weather conditions. You may need a hat, jacket, and gloves. The temperature drops quickly as the sun goes down.
  • Closed-toe shoes are required.
  • We recommend bringing two liters of water per person.
  • Flashlights, headlamps, and flash photography are not allowed. You may bring flashlights and headlamps with you, buit their use is not allowed except by permission of the park ranger.

While photography is allowed and encouraged, no tripods or flash photography will be allowed. To preserve everyone's night vision and program experience, flashlights or headlamps are also not allowed.

Young Children

Due to moderate to difficult conditions (i.e., darkness, rough trail) on this program, it is not recommended to bring young children and infants on the Moonlight hike. This trail is not stroller-accessible.


The Dune Life Nature Trail is rated as moderate. It requires hikers to climb multiple steep dunes and walk on soft sand. The trail starts down on the desert plain and is level for the first 300 yards before going up a steep slope onto the sand dunes. The trail is one mile (1.61 km) long. You must be able to hike the entire trail. The group must stay together for safety concerns. No one is permitted to leave the program early return to the parking area by themselves.


If you have night blindness or have a difficult time seeing outdoors at night, this hike is not recommended as flashlights and headlamps are not allowed. Due to the steepness of the slopes, this program is not wheelchair or stroller accessible.It is not recommended for those with impaired mobility or health concerns.

Service animals are allowed in all park facilities open to the general public.


Vault toilets are located at the trailhead area.


Seating is not available on the hike.


Pets are allowed as long as they are non-disruptive, on a leash no longer than six feet (2 m), and are under physical control at all times. Pets, like humans, should leave only footprints. Pick up after your pet(s) and Leave No Trace. Pets are not allowed in the visitor center.

Programs may be canceled due to public health conditions, weather or missile range activities

Weather at the park can vary drastically and change quickly. The decision to cancel a program due to weather is rarely made more than 30 minutes before the program start time. Call the park at 575-479-6124 ext. 236 if you would like to confirm that a program is still scheduled. If the program is canceled, it will not be re-scheduled. Park entrance fees and camping fees are non-refundable.

Large groups

Reservations are limited. Please be considerate of other park visitors.


Parking for programs is very limited. Please carpool with friends and family. If you plan to ride with friends and need to drive separate cars, please consider meeting at a location in Alamogordo and then driving to the park together in one vehicle. Only one vehicle per ticket is allowed.

Last updated: January 18, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1086
Holloman AFB, NM 88330


575 479-6124

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