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“Do Not Miss This Amazing Place”

White Sands National Monument
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US$80.00*
and up
America the Beautiful - National Parks & Federal...
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Alamogordo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visitors to this endless waterless sea can enjoy driving, hiking, visiting a museum and sledding down the huge dunes.
Reviewed 2 April 2018

We had heard White Sands was worth the stop, but OMG, it is otherworldly! I won't even to attempt to enumerate the reasons you should take plenty of time here, but trust me you will not be disappointed. If you are fit enough, DO take the five mile Alkali Flat hike. It is jaw-dropping. You will want to take at least a full day here.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank sldufhglviuser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"sand dunes"
in 285 reviews
"visitor center"
in 330 reviews
"gift shop"
in 400 reviews
"full moon"
in 113 reviews
"sunset walk"
in 43 reviews
"white gypsum"
in 37 reviews
"national monument"
in 180 reviews
"sunset tour"
in 43 reviews
"miles and miles"
in 56 reviews
"new mexico"
in 248 reviews
"the loop"
in 96 reviews
"natural wonder"
in 49 reviews
"bring plenty of water"
in 45 reviews
"wear sunscreen"
in 33 reviews
"visited white sands"
in 61 reviews
"picnic area"
in 53 reviews
"park ranger"
in 39 reviews
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335 - 339 of 3,627 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2018

these are the biggest gypsum dunes in the world, and there is enough here to supply your average cement factory for 7 thousand years!!!! but the advantage of gypsum over sand is that it doesn't get hot, and it doesn't stick....so, yes take your shoes off and walk in bare feet...it feels so good! there are several things I would advise here, if you are visiting on a Saturday....one is, drive up to the very last stopping place, and walk out onto the dunes as far as you feel comfortable....im not in any way criticising the hundreds of kids having fun going down the dunes in sledges, or the shouting millennials, but to me one of the things about being in this kind of terrain is silence...total silence. you can hear your heart beating, and realise your tiny significance in the world....
the other thing is, get up for opening time (7am) and drive as far as you can to watch the sun come up. it will be cold, even in the middle of summer, and I also recommend sunglasses, as the white can be so bright, its like getting snow-blind. but the shadows, the silence, the lack of people, the first rays of the sun...its mesmerising. totally fantastic, dreamlike place.
if you are ever in this part of the world, you just cant miss this. its totally unique, and totally magical. and don't forget that your pass is valid for 3 days.....and if your are patient, someone will leave a sled just lying around by the bin in the carpark....

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank lushchica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

I absolutely loved this area! Absolutely mesmerizing and beautiful! Recommend going to the Walmart near by to get little sleds to sled down the dunes. If not, they sell them at the visitor center but for $10-15 (Walmart’s are $1.50). I was a little bummed out because I thought the visitor center was the gift shop so I got a shirt there but when we walked thru the rest of the Bldg there was another gift shop with cooler shirts. Bummer. But the white sands are phenomenal!

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank LIBERTYNWS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

Although this place is out of the way (about an hour from Las Cruces), it is worth the extra side trip! The white sand glistens int he sun and makes for a startling backdrop. The sky is big and open, and beautifully highlights the desert. It's a great place to take pictures, jump into the soft sand of the dunes, and to learn about the fascinating beauty of the area and how it came to be. Take your family here because you can purchase sleds to jump into the dunes! We had a marvelous time here.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Susan and Phyl T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 March 2018 via mobile

White Sands really does live up to what you have searched & seen on the internet. But naturally, hindsight is 20/20, so these are my recommendations/observations :

1.) Bring your own sleds. We went with the intention of purchasing them in the gift shop, only to be told they were sold out. I couldn’t believe it. We drove 3.5 hours to do this 1 event. The one thing that I counted on them having was the sleds. So, my kids and I played in the soft sand and knew we would have to come back the following day once we could get the sleds.
2.) Buy quality, thick plastic round discs/ sleds. We got ours for $5.99 at Target and they worked great. Those nearby us were having difficulties getting down the hills. Their sleds were from Walmart and were much thinner and cheaper.
3. Wax up your sled. It really makes you move faster, but not Chevy Chase fast. The gift shop sells wax blocks for $1.99 each. They work just great.
4. Drive the loop first to see where you want to park your car. There is a lot of crowding at the beginning of the 8 mile loop. Towards the back, it is less crowded and has better hills.
5. It takes a few runs to build your path. The trick to sledding is to the lean way back with either your feet up & straight out or crossed-legged. The first ones are slow going. Keep going down the same path and after a few runs, you will be flying down the hills.
6. It is sunny. Super sunny. I’m a sun worshipper & usually not bothered by sun and I needed sunglasses and a hat. It’s so bright! My 2 year old had both on and was still complaining it was too bright. You will definitely need both. And for that matter, throw in some sunscreen, too.
7. The end of the boardwalk is not untouched white sands for good photography (possibly my assumption?). It’s more of an educational boardwalk that tells you about the flora and fauna you will see at White Sands.
8. Alcohol is not allowed from February 1-May 31. I have zero idea why there are restrictions during this window. There are also no places for water once you leave the gift shop area, so bring a cooler with water & snacks.
9. Certain areas have bathrooms. They’re not the worst you’ve ever seen, but they’re not the best, either. They’re clearly visible brownish, greenish huts.
10. Dogs are allowed but they have to remain on leash.

Have fun & come prepared!

Date of experience: March 2018
6  Thank ShanelF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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