Located in the state of New Mexico, White Sands National Park includes the White Sands Missile Range, which is totally encircled by it. More than one-fourth of the gypsum crystal-covered white sand dunes in a 275 square mile expanse of 145,762 acres are included in the park. There are 4.5 billion short tonnes of gypsum sand in this dune field, making it the world’s biggest of its kind. The dunes reach a height of 60 feet, while the depth is around 30 feet.
A natural marvel of the world, the shimmering white sand of New Mexico, rises out of the Tularosa Basin. Gypsum sand dunes have taken over 275 square miles of desert, forming the biggest gypsum dune field in the world. In addition to the flora and animals that call this desert home, White Sands National Park protects a significant piece of this unique dune field in its entirety.
Entrances and how to reach White Sands National Park
At a distance of 16 miles southwest of Alamogordo and 52 miles northeast of the bigger metropolis of Las Cruces, White Sands National Monument may be found in southern New Mexico. If you have the time, larger towns like El Paso, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, are also within driving distance of the park.
The park’s uncomplicated structure makes it easy to explore and travel in a vehicle or an RV. You can only get to the park through I-70 and Dunes Drive, which takes you past the park’s entrance and into its heart on a lengthy, winding route that rounds the park.
Keep in mind that the White Sands Missile Range in the northern part of the dune field periodically shuts the park for a few hours at a time due to missile testing. While the tourist center and gift shop remain open despite road restrictions, no other activities, such as hiking, sledding, or driving, are permitted while missiles are being tested. Be careful to phone the visitor center ahead of time to find out whether the park will be closed or to get the most current information.