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White Sands National Monument

Hike, cycle, drive or surf across one of the most striking landscapes in the United States, a colossal area covered in sand dunes.

Spectacular dunes of snow-white gypsum sprawl as far as the eye can see at the White Sands National Monument. This spectacular natural landscape lays claim to being the largest gypsum dune field in the world and extends for 275 square miles (712 square kilometers) of desert.

Begin your adventures at the national monument with a stop by the visitor center, which was built in the 1930s and is an example of Spanish Pueblo adobe architecture. View exhibits and watch a movie about the monument before venturing out into the dunes.

There are several ways to explore the dramatic landscape, each offering a different perspective on their scale and magnitude. Get in your car for the Dunes Drive, an 8-mile (13-kilometer) scenic drive that departs from the visitor center. Stop at the numerous outdoor exhibits to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area. Find hiking trails, picnic areas and parking facilities along the route.

Walk on the elevated Interdune Boardwalk for a superb view of the dune field and the Sacramento Mountains. This wheelchair accessible walkway features several outdoor exhibits making it both picturesque and educational. Bring a camera to capture lifelong memories.

Hike the trails of the national monument, including the Dune Life Nature Trail, where you can walk on the sand. Cyclists can ride their bikes through the dune field on a hard-packed gypsum sand road or for some heart-pumping fun try sledding down the face of a dune. Sign up for a ranger-led program, including full-moon hikes and bike rides for a tailored experience of the dunes.

The monument is located between the cities of Alamogordo and Las Cruces and can be reached from either. You can even stay overnight in one of the campsites, which are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

The White Sands National Monument is closed on Christmas Day. There is an entrance fee, although children aged 15 years and younger can access the monument for free. Visitors are reminded to bring plenty of water as there is none is available outside of the visitor center.


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Best Lodging Options Near White Sands National Monument

See all 84 Properties near White Sands National Monument
Quality Inn & Suites Near White Sands National Monument ¥6,181
Quality Inn & Suites Near White Sands National Monument

Quality Inn & Suites Near White Sands National Monument

1020 S White Sands Blvd, Alamogordo, NM
     
    2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Alamogordo, this motel is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Toy Train Depot and within 6 mi (10 km) of New Mexico State University Alamogordo and International Space Hall of Fame. New Mexico Museum of Space History is 4.9 mi (7.9 km) away.

    Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Alamogordo Hwy 54/70 ¥10,116
    Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Alamogordo Hwy 54/70

    Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Alamogordo Hwy 54/70

    100 Kerry Ave, Alamogordo, NM
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Alamogordo, this hotel is 3 mi (4.8 km) from Toy Train Depot and within 6 mi (10 km) of New Mexico State University Alamogordo and International Space Hall of Fame. New Mexico Museum of Space History is 5.5 mi (8.8 km) away.

      Hampton Inn Alamogordo ¥11,287
      Hampton Inn Alamogordo

      Hampton Inn Alamogordo

      1295 Hamilton Road, Alamogordo, NM
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Alamogordo, this hotel is 3.1 mi (4.9 km) from Toy Train Depot and within 6 mi (10 km) of New Mexico State University Alamogordo and International Space Hall of Fame. New Mexico Museum of Space History and Oliver Lee Memorial State Park are also within 16 mi (25 km).

        Magnuson Hotel and Suites Alamogordo ¥5,834
        Magnuson Hotel and Suites Alamogordo

        Magnuson Hotel and Suites Alamogordo

        1021 S White Sands Blvd, Alamogordo, NM
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Alamogordo, this motel is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Toy Train Depot and within 6 mi (10 km) of New Mexico State University Alamogordo and International Space Hall of Fame. New Mexico Museum of Space History is 5 mi (8.1 km) away.

          Motel 6 Alamogordo ¥4,741
          Motel 6 Alamogordo

          Motel 6 Alamogordo

          251 Panorama Blvd, Alamogordo, NM
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Alamogordo, this motel is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Toy Train Depot and within 6 mi (10 km) of New Mexico State University Alamogordo and International Space Hall of Fame. New Mexico Museum of Space History is 5.4 mi (8.6 km) away.

            Days Inn by Wyndham Alamogordo ¥5,971
            Days Inn by Wyndham Alamogordo

            Days Inn by Wyndham Alamogordo

            907 S White Sands Blvd, Alamogordo, NM
               
              2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Alamogordo, this hotel is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) from Toy Train Depot and within 6 mi (10 km) of New Mexico State University Alamogordo and International Space Hall of Fame. New Mexico Museum of Space History is 5 mi (8.1 km) away.

              Tavares Inn ¥11,593
              Tavares Inn

              Tavares Inn

              153 San Pedro Drive, Alamogordo, NM
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Alamogordo, this bed & breakfast is within 9 mi (15 km) of Toy Train Depot, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, and New Mexico State University Alamogordo. International Space Hall of Fame and New Mexico Museum of Space History are also within 9 mi (15 km).

                Super 8 by Wyndham Alamogordo ¥6,469
                Super 8 by Wyndham Alamogordo

                Super 8 by Wyndham Alamogordo

                3204 N White Sands Blvd, Alamogordo, NM
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Alamogordo, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Toy Train Depot and within 3 mi (5 km) of New Mexico State University Alamogordo and International Space Hall of Fame. New Mexico Museum of Space History is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.