White Sands National Monument is the largest gypsum sand dune in the world and lies between Las Cruces and Alamogordo to the east. It provides a wealth of recreation activities, plus numerous special events, such as this month’s Full Moon Bike Ride and next month’s Full Moon Night.
Daily Sunset Strolls
Enjoy a leisurely one-hour ranger-guided walk through sand dunes and learn about the geology, plants, and animals of this unique area. Program starts at the sign along Dunes Drive about five miles from the visitor center. Programs are offered daily. Program is free; monument entrance fees apply. Programs begin at 6:30 p.m. April 1 – April 21 and 6:45 p.m. April 22 – May 12.
Saturday, April 8, 8 p.m.: Full Moon Bike Ride
Take a leisurely un-guided bike ride through the monument under the light of the full moon. Reservations are required and can be made one month in advance of the tour. For more information visit nps.gov/whsa. A program fee of $8 per person 16 and older and $4 per person 15 and younger applies. Monument entrance fees also apply. Helmets and front and rear lights required. Dress warmly, it is cool at night.
Sunday, April 23, 9 a.m.: Lake Lucero Tour
Have you ever wondered how the white sands formed? Take a tour to Lake Lucero with a ranger and learn about the formation of the sands and the special plants and animals that live in and around the dunes. A program fee of $8 per person 16 and older and $4.00 per person 15 and younger applies. Reservations are required and can be made one month in advance of the tour. For more information visit nps.gov/whsa.
Tuesday, May 9, 7:45 p.m.: Full Moon Hike
Have you ever wondered what the dunes look like under the glow of the moon? Join a ranger for a full moon hike and see firsthand the dunes in a whole new light. A program fee of $8 per person 16 and older and $4 per person 15 and younger applies. Monument entrance fees also apply. Hike is limited to 40 participants. Reservations are required and can be made one month in advance of the tour. For more information visit nps.gov/whsa. Reservations open 8 a.m. April 9.
Wednesday, May 10, 8 p.m.: Full Moon Night: The Island of Misfit Morphs
The Island of Misfit Morphs is a nonprofit educational outreach program dedicated to educating the public on how to respect wildlife and those beings that are different and unique. Snakes, lizards, frogs, arachnids, and even insects get a bad reputation through media, tall tales, and word of mouth. Come join us for a night of hands-on learning about the animals that are important to various ecosystems and how you can help protect them.
Program is free; monument entrance fees apply. Reservations are not required or accepted.
Saturdays and Sundays, 3 p.m.: Skins and Skulls
Join a ranger in the visitor center courtyard for a 20-minute talk about the amazing animals of White Sands. Rangers will have pelts, skulls, and other props to provide you an up-close look and feel of the elusive wildlife of White Sands. Program is free.
Visitor Center hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. March 12 – May 14. Monument hours are 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. March 12 – April 22 and 7 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. April 23 – March 27. Dunes Drive will close to inbound traffic at one hour before the monument will close. The Highway 70 gate and rest rooms will close at the stated monument closing time.
Schedule is subject to change. Activities may be cancelled due to weather or missile range activities. Visit nps.gov/whsa for more information. Monument entrance fees are $5 per person anyone 16 years and older; children 15 years old and under are free.