Myers RV Center Albuquerque Blog
- 0 0Published on Sep 17, 2016
White Sands National Monument
Tucked away in the Tula Rosa Basin of New Mexico, lies the White Sands National Monument. Glistening white sands make up 275 miles of desert area where you’ll find wave-like dunes of gypsum sand. Visitors come to the area to see the powder-like dunes and learn what makes this monument so unique.
Now, visiting a sea of white sand dunes may not sound like the most interesting thing to do in New Mexico but there is so much more to learn and explore. The visitor center offers daily programs, including ranger and Jr ranger programs; they have a gift shop; a museum that tells about the history of the area; and a plant garden. Yes, plants do grow in the desert! Kids can pickup adventure packs at the visitor center that helps them learn about the animals and plants of White Sands and can take them along as they explore to help identify what they see.
Hiking is one of the more popular activities at White Sands. There are 5 trails through the national monument that offer stunning views of the dunes and surrounding mountains. Imagine hiking through a sea of white mounds in complete silence. Its almost like walking through a forest, in winter, in the middle of a snowfall, except in the middle of the heated desert. You can explore the trails by horseback as well but the park office asks that you stick to the designated trails and you must check in with the visitor center before you set out.
Sledding is the top activity at White Sands. Yes, I said sledding. You are surrounded by huge dunes of white powdery sand that mimics the makeup of snow without the cold. Visitors can bring their own waxed, plastic saucers or you can purchase one at the park gift shop.
Dunes Drive is a popular activity if you’d prefer to experience the dunes from the A/C in your car. The 8 mile route, 16 miles round trip, takes you through the heart of the gympsum dune field on the designated paved path. You can get out and explore the dunes on foot, take pictures and go sledding. The paved drive can acommodate cars, motorcycles, RV's and buses and there are spots along the route where you can get out and picnic, or explore different exhibits.
Camping is available at the designated campsites. There are 10 primitive sites set up along dunes drive. You can find more information about these campsites by calling the visitor center.
Occassionally the monument is closed due to missile testing on the White Sands Missile Range. It's best to call or visit the website before you come to find out if the dunes are closed or not. https://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm.
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