Top 10 Must-See Sights at White Sands National Park


White Sands National Park is a unique and beautiful destination in New Mexico, where you can explore the vast expanse of white gypsum sand dunes, learn about the history and wildlife.

What to bring to White Sands Park?

Bring water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, snacks, whistle, park map, and plan. Check weather and road conditions before you go. Explore 10 sights on the next page.

The best way to get a glimpse of the park is to drive along the 16-mile scenic road that winds through the dunes. 

Dunes Drive


Before you enter the park, make sure to stop by the visitor center to learn more about the park’s history, geology, and ecology.

Visitor Center


If you want to experience the heart of the dunefield, hike the 5-mile loop trail that takes you to the edge of the ancient lake bed. 

Alkali Flat Trail


One of the most fun and popular things to do at White Sands is to sled down the slopes of the dunes. You can buy or rent a waxed sled at the visitor center.

Sand Sledding


Join a ranger-led walk that starts one hour before sunset and learn about the plants, animals, and geology of the park. You will also witness the spectacular colors of the sky.

Sunset Stroll


For a more adventurous and immersive experience, you can camp overnight in the dunefield. You will need a permit and a tent, and you will have to hike at least a mile.

Backcountry Camping


If you prefer a shorter and easier walk, you can take the 0.4-mile boardwalk that leads you through the interdune area. You will see different types of plants and animals.

Interdune Boardwalk


Lake Lucero is the source of the gypsum sand that forms the dunes. It is a seasonal lake that evaporates and leaves behind selenite crystals.

Lake Lucero


White Sands National Park is surrounded by the White Sands Missile Range, a military testing site that has a rich history and significance. 

White Sands Missile Range Museum


Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was detonated in 1945, marks the dawn of the nuclear age. Open to the public twice yearly at White Sands Missile Range.

Trinity Site


In 2023, researchers discovered the oldest known human footprints in North America at White Sands National Park. These footprints date back to 23,000 years ago


Human Footprints

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