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  • Writer's pictureMick McMurray

2 Days in White Sands National Park

Updated: 5 days ago

White Sands National Park at sunset with a cloudy blue sky
White Sands National Park

White Sands National Park is a unique and beautiful destination in southern New Mexico. The park features miles of striking white gypsum sand dunes that are unlike anything else in the world. We walked along the dunes and took in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and desert landscape. Additionally, the park offers activities such as hiking, sledding, and stargazing. The sand dunes are especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset when the light casts warm colors on the landscape.

We stayed at the White Sands KOA in Alamogordo, New Mexico for our visit to White Sands National Park. We stayed here for 2 nights. After setting up camp we drove into the park and went to the end where there is a loop. There are picnic tables with coverings for shade where you can stop and eat a picnic lunch or snack. We took some of the pullouts and checked out the dunes. For the start of this road trip go to Along the Southern Border.

As we were leaving, the ranger informed us that the park was not open before sunrise. However, he suggested a spot on Hwy. 70 where the sand had piled up to conceal the fence at the park's boundary, and he assured us that he wouldn't report us if we ventured into the park before sunrise. It turned out to be an enchanting morning as we explored the dunes

During the day we visited the Museum of Space History in Alamogordo. It is an interesting multi-story museum and we even got our photo taken with an alien. They had a couple of films you can watch and after falling asleep during the first one because of our early morning adventures on the dunes we decided to head back to camp and rest up for the evening hike.

In the afternoon we ventured back into the park and scouted around for an area without any footprints. We found a large area with mountains in the background for our incredible evening and sunset photos. Photographing White Sands National Park at sunset was awesome. The white gypsum sand dunes glowed with warm colors as the sun dipped below the horizon, creating a magical and unforgettable scene.

In conclusion, White Sands National Park is a unique and breathtaking destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park's shimmering white dunes, rugged mountains, and diverse wildlife make it a must-see location for visitors. From hiking and camping to stargazing and photography, there is something for everyone to enjoy at White Sands. Whether you come for a day trip or a longer stay, this national park is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories and a sense of wonder at the beauty of the natural world.

Lorna’s Tips and Lessons

We use navigation apps regularly, but suggest that you also have old fashion paper maps available. You never know when you are not going to have internet service and having a map available will be important. I also find that I am able to locate where rest stops are easier to find on a paper map. We find that often rest stops are situated about every two hours but we try to stop regardless. It's a good time to walk, stretch, and switch drivers. I also suggest putting your phone in a holder. It makes it easier to grab when you (as a passenger, not a driver) want to take a quick picture of something you are driving by. This is the one I am using currently.

Sabino Canyon, The Local Jewell in Tucson AZ


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