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. …

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Backcountry Camping Trail map

There are non-stop warnings about dehydration.

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Let’s go.

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

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It was VERY windy.

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Deserts are always interesting.

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There are 10 backcountry campsites available.

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details on Backcountry Camping

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

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

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Sunsets are wonderful in the desert.

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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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