10 Essential Tips for Visiting White Sands National Park


White Sands National Park, located in southern New Mexico, is a stunning landscape of gleaming white gypsum sand dunes that stretch across 275 square miles of desert terrain. 

Learn 10 tips to enjoy White Sands National Park, from sledding on gypsum dunes to camping under the stars in the desert. 

Check the park hours and closures before you visit, as it is located within a missile range.


Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks, as the park has no services or shade.


Rent or buy a sled at the visitor center and slide down the white sand dunes.


Explore the park’s trails and boardwalks, and learn about the geology, plants, and animals of the dunes.


Visit the park at sunrise or sunset, and witness the spectacular colors and shadows of the sand.


Book a ranger-led program, such as a full moon hike, a sunset stroll, or a star party, and enjoy the park’s beauty and history.


Camp overnight at the backcountry sites, and experience the solitude and silence of the desert.


Respect the park rules and regulations, such as staying on designated roads, not collecting sand or plants, and not littering.


Watch out for hazards, such as high temperatures, lightning, wildlife, and unexploded ordnance.


Bring your camera and capture the stunning scenery and memories of your visit.


Plan your trip in advance, and make reservations for camping, sledding, and ranger programs, as they can fill up quickly.


Next: Top 10 Must-See Sights at White Sands National Park

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