White Sands National Monument


Boy are you in for a treat at this place! The boys both agree that this was the highlight of the trip. I wasn’t expecting this much fun after trying to sand sled at Great Sand Dunes National Park. The difference was astounding.

We pulled into the parking lot around 10 a.m. and it was already packed. We headed into the visitor center and decided to take our time getting out and into the park. We grabbed the Junior Ranger books, walked through the museum, we watched the short film and then did some shopping. We bought the sleds at the shop and headed out to try this sand sledding thing again. The girl who sold us our sled said the best sledding is between miles 5 and 8. Sleds cost $20 and they give you $5 or $10 back (I can’t remember) we found some people at the visitor center looking for sleds and sold them ours for $15 when we were done with them. Lol!!

We headed out to Dunes Drive. This is an 8 mile drive from the visitor center through the heart of the dunes, it’s gorgeous. You don’t really appreciate them until you get out and walk them and see how far they actually go. The 16 mile round trip drive would take you around 45 minutes, but do yourself a favor and stop, this experience was amazing.


Look at how beautiful this sand is up against the San Andres Mountains!! We had a gorgeous day out to enjoy, the blue skies added to the beauty of this place.

The sand here at White Sands is very smooth making this sand sledding experience worthwhile. The sand is actually gypsum that has been dissolved from the mountains by rainfall and snow melting. It then settles in the lake that is present here. When all the water evaporates the dissolved gypsum recrystallize and form selenite. Selenite is very brittle and the wind breaks it up into very fine sand, perfect for sledding on.

We went sand sledding for hours, the kids built ramps to jump over and met so many fun people while we were there. A younger couple was teaching the boys to sand board on their sleds.


The kids helped another family to build ramps for the little kids to sled over.


Even Mom and Dad got in on the fun!


We had a picnic lunch at our sledding site, finished up our Junior Ranger books, got in a few more passes down the slopes and headed back to the Visitor Center for our badges!


What an amazing day! I would put this place as a must do if you are venturing through New Mexico. A day we won’t soon forget.

Have you been here? Did you love it as much as we did??

3 Comments on “White Sands National Monument

  1. Pingback: New Mexico (revisited) | Adventures of the Amazon

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