White Sands National Monument

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19955 Highway 70, White Sands National Monument, USA
www.nps.gov/whsa - (575) 479-6124

White Sands National Monument Reviews

andrewcsikes andrewcs…
19 reviews
Great Stop Nov 17, 2012
The White Sands National Monument is worth stopping at if you are traveling through New Mexico. We took an extra day out of our way to stop. It was worth it. The sand looked like snow. My boys thought it was the coolest place ever. The played for an hour in the sand rolling down the dunes. We then went to the gift shop and purchased a sled. That was a lot of fun. Make sure you ask if they have any used ones and when your done, you can sell it back to them.
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alyssa_ob alyssa_ob
244 reviews
A day at the beach - without the water Feb 16, 2008
White Sands National Monument is located in south-central New Mexico near Alamogordo. The park covers about 115 square miles of beautiful white sand dunes. The park has several hiking trails though the dunes and sledding is a popular "sport" on the dunes. A ranger-led sunset trail provides gorgeous photo opportunities.

So how did all this white sand get here? And what is it? Quick geology lesson - this area used to be covered by shallow warm seas that deposited rocks, including a gypsum layer. The rocks domed up during the mountain building of the Rockies. About 10 million years ago the dome collapsed, forming the basin. The Sacramento Mtns to the east and San Andreas Mtns to the west are the original edges of the dome. No rivers drain this basin, so all the sediment (gypsum in particular) stays in this basin. There's more to it than that, but the point is, any gypsum that erodes from the surrounding mountains stays in the basin and eventually forms the gypsum sand dunes. Gypsum dissolves in water, but the lack of water in the desert, as well as lack of river drainage, allows the white gypsum sand to form and stay. And the wind keeps the dunes moving - some move up to 30 feet per year!

The $3 ticket was good for 6 days!
writing in the sand
sand dune
picnic shelters and dunes
Sunflower300 says:
Thanks for the geology lesson. :) This place is fantastic.
Posted on: Jun 26, 2008
X_Drive X_Drive
836 reviews
Gypsum sand - clean and White! Apr 14, 2008
The White Sands National Monument is located about 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo, New Mexico off US Highway 70. It is a 275 square mile desert made up of gypsum sand dunes. It’s the Gypsum that makes the sand so white.

The Visitors Center is a pueblo-adobe style structure built in the late

1930s and includes many interesting displays and data about the area.

There is a fifteen mile drive that takes you into the heart of the dunes and then loops through the area and back out to the entrance. There are also several trails that change from time to time as the dunes move and change. Rangers also give interesting guided tours.

The area is only open during daylight hours and there is no overnight camping allowed.

From time to time the Monument is closed for periods of up to three hours for missile testing from the White Sands missile range. Presently there is a $3.00 admission fee per person over 15 years of age.
rotorhead85 says:
Nice to see that white sand drifting like snow but warmer on the feet. Great spot (and review)!
Posted on: Jun 14, 2008

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