White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

Planning Your Visit

Directions

Getting There

The visitor center is located on U.S. Highway 70, 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Alamogordo and 52 miles east of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Travelers from Carlsbad Caverns to southern Arizona can follow U.S. 82 through the scenic Sacramento Mountains to reach White Sands National Monument.

Fees & Reservations

ENTRANCE FEES
$3 per person (good for 7 days)
Children 15 and under are free.
Entrance fees are collected at the entrance station on the Dunes Drive.
NOTE: We cannot accept credit cards for admission fees or passport purchases.

Holders of National Park, Golden Eagle, Golden Age, Golden Access, and White Sands Annual passports are admitted free, along with everyone in their private vehicle.

Why do we have to pay entrance fees?

PURCHASING NATIONAL PARK PASSPORTS

White Sands National Monument Annual Passport - $20

This passport admits the passport holder and all passengers in a private vehicle into the park for free for a period of one year. It can be purchased only at the entrance station to White Sands National Monument. This passport does not apply to special use fees, such as camping, Lake Lucero Tours, and bicycle rides.

SPECIAL EVENT FEES
Lake Lucero Tours:
Fee $3.00 per person
$1.50 per person for 15 and under and Golden Age and Golden Access passport holders.
National Park and Golden Eagle Passports are not valid for this activity.
Advance registration is required. Call (575)679-2599 ext. 236.

Moonlight Bicycle Tours:
Fee $5.00 per person
$2.50 per person for 15 and under and Golden Age and Golden Access passport holders.
National Park and Golden Eagle Passports are not valid for this activity.
Advance registration is required. Call (575) 679-2599 ext. 111.

Commercial Bus Tours

The 16-mile Dunes Drive is suitable for buses. Allow 40 minutes of driving time. We recommend a minimum of two hours for commercial tours, including stopping at the Visitor Center and stopping in the dunes.

Park rangers are available to serve as step-on guides for buses driving through the park. To reserve a ranger-guide, call (575) 679-2599 x 230. There is no additional fee for this service.

Commercial bus or van tours are charged a set fee based on the capacity of the vehicle (not the number of passengers):

Seating Capacity Fee

26 and over $100

7 - 25 $ 40

1 - 6 $ 25

Checks should be made out to "National Park Service."

National Park, Golden Age and Golden Access passports are not valid for commercial tours.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Operating Hours & Seasons
The monument is open daily year round.

Summer hours (May 23 through September 1):

Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. The Dunes Drive may be entered from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. No vehicles may enter the Dunes Drive after 9 p.m. All visitors must exit the park by 10 p.m.

Winter hours: (September 4, 2007 - May 22, 2008)

Visitor Center 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. The Dunes Drive may be entered from 7:00 a.m. to sunset. No vehicles may enter the Dunes Drive after sunset. All visitors must exit the park by one hour after sunset.

The Visitor Center will be closed on Christmas day.

Special Note: Due to missile testing on the adjacent White Sands Missile Range, it is occasionally necessary, for visitor safety, to close the Dunes Drive for periods of up to three hours. U.S. Highway 70/82 between Alamogordo and Las Cruces is also closed during times of missile testing. Visitors on a tight schedule are encouraged to call the day prior to arrival for information on closures.

Contact Us

Write to

White Sands National Monument
PO Box 1086
Holloman AFB, NM 88330

Park Information
(575) 679-2599

SEEING THE PARK

Your first stop should be the White Sands Visitor Center, which includes a museum, information desk, orientation video, book store, gift shop and restrooms. Allow approximately 30 minutes for Visitor Center activities. The Visitor Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The Dunes Drive, an eight-mile scenic roadway, leads from the Visitor Center into the heart of the White Sands dune field. Allow 30 minutes driving time for this sixteen-mile round trip, plus additional time for hiking, photography, sand play and other recreational activities.

The Heart of the Sands Nature Center, located near the end of the Dune Drive, highlights the plants and animals that have adapted to life in the white sands. Due to staffing limitations, the Nature Center has irregular hours.

NOTICE: Alcohol is prohibited within the park during the months of February, March, April and May.

No glass bottles or kegs are allowed at any time of year.

Climate Averages

Average Temperatures and Precipitation

This table shows the monthly temperatures and precipitation at White Sands National Monument averaged over a 30-year period from 1971 through 2000. It also shows the extremes recorded during that same period.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Avg. High

57

64

71

79

88

96

97

94

88

78

64

57

Avg. Low

23

26

31

39

49

58

63

61

54

41

28

22

Highest

78

82

95

97

104

111

110

107

104

97

86

83

Lowest

-25

-14

-19

11

20

38

45

38

30

13

-12

-8

Precipitation

.60"

.39"

.27"

.29"

.49"

.89"

1.41"

2.07"

1.44"

1.09"

.68"

.79"

Current weather forecast.

Accessibility

The Visitor Center, Gift Shop and restrooms are wheelchair accessible.  Along the Dunes drive, the Interdune Boardwalk is a 600-yard wheelchair-accessible trail that leads to the top of a dune.  Selected picnic tables and pit toilets along the Dunes Drive are wheelchair-accessible.

Bicycling Information

Bicycling is allowed along the Dunes Drive. Bicyclists must pay the standard park entrance fee. Helmets are required. No off-road bicycling is permitted. All bicycles must stay on the Dunes Drive or parking areas.

CAUTION: The Dunes Drive is narrow with steeply-sloping shoulders. Bicyclists should be extra cautious of vehicular traffic.

Climate averages

Average Temperatures and Precipitation

This table shows the monthly temperatures and precipitation at White Sands National Monument averaged over a 30-year period from 1971 through 2000. It also shows the extremes recorded during that same period.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Avg. High

57

64

71

79

88

96

97

94

88

78

64

57

Avg. Low

23

26

31

39

49

58

63

61

54

41

28

22

Highest

78

82

95

97

104

111

110

107

104

97

86

83

Lowest

-25

-14

-19

11

20

38

45

38

30

13

-12

-8

Precipitation

.60"

.39"

.27"

.29"

.49"

.89"

1.41"

2.07"

1.44"

1.09"

.68"

.79"

This Week's Weather Forecast