In December we made our way from Texas back to Los Angeles with a few pit stops along the way. I’ve been wanting to see the White Sands National Monument forever because duh- it’s amazing. Stark white sand dunes in the middle of nowhere. Yes, please!
White Sands, New Mexico in the Tularosa Basin and spans more than 275 miles. White sands made of gypsum have created these wave-like dunes and make up the largest gypsum dune filed in the world. Yowza. Mile by mile the shapes of the dunes change making so many different patterns. Driving through the park and witnessing white sand in every direction is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
*We happened to stumble upon this writing in the sand. What a coincidence that someone else named Owen wrote this and we found it.
Things to Know
- We stayed in Alamogordo, NM which was about a 30 minute drive to the park. FYI, Alamogordo, is pretty small. Just a few restaurants and a Walmart.
- Once you enter the park and see all the white sand dunes, it’s tempting to stop and park right away, but I would suggest going a little bit further down the road to the less crowded areas where the dunes are taller and undisturbed.
- The park gift shop has all you need to sled: plastic dome sled, sled wax, or rentals.
- The sledding, in my opinion, was more of a novelty or a ‘money-maker’. In theory, it sounds like sledding down the sand dunes would be so exciting, but their were a few flaws. The weight of adults slows the downhill sledding speed big-time, the store-bought wax is impossible to spread on the sled, the dunes heights aren’t that steep, and the sledding is mediocre at best. Probably way more fun for kids. I wouldn’t say skip the sledding, but don’t expect any high-impact adrenaline pumping action.
- You’ll be covered in sand by the time you leave. No big deal. But your car will have white sand everywhere, too. If you care.
- Missiles go off every few hours at the next door missile range. Also, no big deal. Sometimes the park is closed for a few hours for additional testing- check the park website.
- What time of day to visit the park? In the warmer months, I’d skip midday, and in the cooler months, plan on visiting at midday.
- Don’t miss the sunsets! Gorgeous.
- For the two is us, my husband and me, we only needed a few hours at the park.
- Pets are allowed, yay! But, must be leashed at all times. We heard a horror story of a woman who’s dog was off it’s leash and the dog ran away, and ran and ran and ran. The park rangers had to be called and a massive search- lead by flash light- was on looking for the dog into the next morning.