hiking White Sands National Monument

New Mexico

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Length: 2 miles (3.5 km), round-trip

The White Sands National Monument … at an elevation of 4,235 feet (1,291 m). …

It is the largest gypsum dune field in the world. …

The Monument is completely surrounded by military installations (White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base) and has always had an uneasy relationship with the military …

Located on the northernmost boundaries of White Sands Missile Range, the Trinity Site can be found, where the first atom bomb was detonated. …

Backcountry Camping Trail map

There are non-stop warnings about dehydration.


Let’s go.


I wore these lightweight camp shoes. They turned out to be perfect for the soft sand.


It was VERY windy.


Deserts are always interesting.

img_3685 img_3684

There are 10 backcountry campsites available.


details on Backcountry Camping

Following my hike, I joined the sunset dunes walk led by a Ranger.


It was very interesting and entertaining. This entire structure was created by that plant.


Sunsets are wonderful in the desert.


The Ranger noted that any President could remove National Monument status. Potentially this land could be given to the military. 😦

details – Backcountry Camping Trail

There’s a longer (5 mile) Dunes hike called the Alkali Flat Trail. If you want more.

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