National Parks / Natural World

White Sands National Monument Alamogordo

Where is it at?

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White Sands National Monument
US Hwy 70
Between Alamogordo and Las Cruces
Alamogordo
NM
88310
Tel: 575-479-6124

Directions

The White Sands National Monument Visitor Center is located between Alamogordo (15 minutes drive west) and Las Cruces (an hour drives east) on Hwy 70.

Where are we going today?

White sand in New Mexico? Yep! One of the most unusual attractions in the world. White Sand National Monument is an fascinating place to visit with kids with the white sand dunes covering the New Mexico desert!

The park is a great place to just take your time, and enjoy a self-guided tour through the dunes. Kids can get out, play, run around and enjoy this fascinating site!

If you wanted to participate in some really cool activities, check out what events the park puts on across the year.

They are great for the whole family, and some even just for kids!

There are sunset strolls which let you enjoy a one-hour ranger-guided walk where you can learn all about the plants, animals and geology.

Perhaps a full moon hike where you won't even need torches the moon can get so bright! You must reserve for this one - it's pretty popular!

For those kids that want to learn about fascinating facts about the area, they have evenings where you can find out how fire and mining have changed the landscape, and how humans have changed the shape of the area.

Before you ask, yep, there are animals in the area and yep, they hold events perfect for animal lovers They often have rangers showing pelts and skulls of the wildlife of the area so kids can really get an up-close look at the diverse creatures that call the White Sands National Monument home. 

White Sands National Monument also offer camping, picnicking, sledding, stargazing (and incredible place to do it!) as well as backpacking.

Don't forget your camera! 

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$3 per person.
  • Children$3 per person.
  • Free Under: 15
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

Visitor Center: Summer 8am - 7pm. Winter/Fall 9am - 5pm. Spring 8am - 7pm

Open all year around, but closed Christmas Day.

Teachers corner

Use the park as a classroom! Geology and wildlife are just two of the many reasons why it's a great place for kids to learn and check out their ready-made lesson plans! .

Any Top Tips?

Some of the events are extra fees, but some are FREE, so just check before you head out to one. The park also operate on the National Free Days so make sure you find out what days the entrance fee will be waived!.

Doing our bit

The park services really look after this area, so help them out by picking up anything you have so you don't leave anything behind!.

Need a little extra help?

Give the park a call if you need accessibility for any disability. .

Can I get one of those?

Can you have a unique time? Yes! Can you take away plants or natural souvenirs from the park? Best not to - leave it there for someone else to enjoy! .

What people are saying?

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    Great day for a hike on Alki Flats trail. The wind kept us comfortable and the hike was safe. Enjoyed dune jumping. Was great to get out past all the families sledding and just enjoy the day. Will go back again!

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    I will preface this by saying I am not an outdoorsy person, so on our recent road trip to Arizona, my arm was twisted to stop here. Our visit was in July and we couldn't make it to the park any earlier than about 1 in the afternoon. If you have children and are visiting in any hot month, it is not worth it to get out of the car. Seeing this is pretty astonishing, but as far as getting out in it and sledding on the dunes, it is hot and awful. My kids were annoyed and ready to go after about 30 minutes, after driving 3 hours out of our way and $80...Read More

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    Amazing! I love white sands, I've been there 5 times. It's a very beautiful place and fun too. The only things you need are water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and other stuff to beat the heat. Also the beat times to go are towards the end of spring, because if you in the summer the reflection of heat is obviously going way hotter and cook you because the sand is white. My opinion is this place is really amazing.

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    My uncle would take me white sands. I remember having lots of fun. Nice childhood memories.

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    most beautiful and breathtaking national park in the world and you can even take your horses there.

Submit a review

by Jenna Whitehead

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I will preface this by saying I am not an outdoorsy person, so on our recent road trip to Arizona, my arm was twisted to stop here. Our visit was in July and we couldn't make it to the park any earlier than about 1 in the afternoon. If you have children and are visiting in any hot month, it is not worth it to get out of the car. Seeing this is pretty astonishing, but as far as getting out in it and sledding on the dunes, it is hot and awful. My kids were annoyed and ready to go after about 30 minutes, after driving 3 hours out of our way and $80 while there on sleds and sunglasses. If you do go, you will need a hat, sunglasses, lots of sunscreen and ALOT of water. We drank 8 bottles between the five of us after about 10 minutes. I felt like this was incredibly overrated. If you are going through this area or it's only a short side trip from somewhere close, then stopping is worth it. Going way out of your way in the summer months is a waste of time. My 3 year old just played in the sand the whole time, my 9 year old sled once and was burning up, and my 12 year old sled a few times ( I think just to appease us both since my husband and I were so fed up. ) Once we got out, we were hot and sticky and incredibly sandy. We were on a road trip and with pillows and all of our stuff in the car, the sand was every where and there is no where to wash off before getting back into your car, so the mess is unavoidable. As a memory, it was good. I would never do it again, though.

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