White Sands National Park is located in the state of New Mexico and is the world’s largest gypsum dune field. This transnational park of UNESCO World Heritage Site covers an area of over 230 square kilometers and is an impressive sight to see. It is known for its sand dunes made of gypsum, which can reach heights of over 90 feet.
The park's history dates back to the early 20th century, when scientists discovered that the dunes were made of gypsum. In 1933, President Hoover issued a presidential proclamation to establish White Sands National Monument, recognized as a national park in 2019. The park remains a relatively untouched natural area, and many of the unique plants and animals that live in the area still exist to this day.
The park is open year-round, and visitors can explore the area on foot, by bike, by ATV, and off-highway vehicles. The park has over 50 miles of trails that range from easy and paved to difficult and backcountry hikes, with walking paths and wildlife observation sites. There are also scenic drives, such as Dunes Drive, which showcases the amazing variety of landscapes that make up the park.
For those wanting to explore the dunes and have a unique experience, the park offers sand sledding as well as guided tours of the area. The park also has a campground that offers a range of primitive and tailored camping experiences, including designated sites and showers next to the sand dunes.
White Sands National Park is a place of stunning beauty and is especially famed for its magnificent sunsets. As you explore the area, keep an eye out for the local wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, black-tailed jackrabbits, free-tailed bats, and bobcats. The park also boasts an impressive number of bird species, including prairie falcons, roadrunners, and burrowing owls.
White Sands National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the outdoors and wants to explore a unique, gypsum-filled landscape. There is something for every type of traveler here, allowing you to find the perfect way to experience the area.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about White Sands National Park
Where is White Sands National Park located?
White Sands National Park is located in the Tularosa Basin of central New Mexico, about 70 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas, 95 miles north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and 95 miles southwest of Alamogordo, New Mexico.
What to do and see at White Sands National Park?
White Sands National Park is home to some of the world's most stunning landscapes. The park itself is home to the largest gypsum dunefield in the world and offers visitors a unique experience. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, picnicking, sledding and sandboarding, exploring nearby ruins, and scenic drives. There are also ranger-led programs available that teach visitors about the prehistoric and historic significance of the area. Visitors can also take in spectacular views of the White Sands Mountains, Chihuahuan Desert, and San Andres Mountains.
Are dogs allowed at White Sands National Park?
No, due to the fragile nature of the sand dunes in White Sands National Park, pets are not allowed on the dunes.