Hello, friends! Visiting the White Sands desert in New Mexico?
Join us as we continue home on a road trip through the heart of New Mexico, a day brimming with laughter, exploration, and the sheer joy of discovery. From the Lone Star State of Texas to the sunny shores of California, every moment was a treasure waiting to be uncovered.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, we will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. To know more, you can read here.
A Tale of States and Stories
As our road trip swung through the Texan terrain and geared towards California’s embrace, we found ourselves venturing into the enchanting landscapes of New Mexico. With a heart full of wanderlust, we set out to paint new stories on the canvas of our journey.
Unearthing Nature’s Secrets – Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Our journey took us deep into the heart of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, where the earth’s secrets were unveiled before our eyes. Stepping into the subterranean wonderland, we marveled at the breathtaking formations that nature had sculpted over eons. Stalactites and stalagmites created a mesmerizing tapestry that left us awe-inspired. (Read about the exploration HERE)
A Pause for Beauty – Lincoln National Forest
On our way to the iconic White Sands National Monument, a spontaneous moment beckoned us to the scenic Lincoln National Forest. Nature’s tranquility enveloped us as we captured a snapshot of its serene allure, a memory etched in time.
Smokey Bear’s Origin: The town of Capitan, located near the forest, is the birthplace of Smokey Bear. The iconic bear cub was found in the aftermath of a forest fire in 1950, leading to the creation of the beloved Smokey Bear wildfire prevention campaign.
An Oasis of White Sands
Our journey reached its crescendo as we entered The White Sands National Monument. The visitor center greeted us with warmth, offering sleds for a thrilling adventure on the dunes. Feel free to bring your own sleds too, as we eagerly embarked on the path to the dunes.
Picnics, Play, and Picturesque Moments
Amidst the glistening sands, we laid out a picnic feast and embraced the sheer joy of sliding down the dunes. Laughter echoed as we created memories that would forever sparkle in our hearts. A tip for fellow explorers: Stay updated online to ensure a smooth visit, especially due to the proximity of the White Sands Missile Range.
Souvenirs from the Visitor Center
Before bidding adieu to this sandy paradise, we returned to the visitor center. Souvenirs adorned the shelves, a tangible token of the joy we had found. With hearts full of gratitude, we departed, knowing that our day’s tale was etched in the mementos we carried.
Homeward Bound, Hearts Aglow
As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the landscape, we embarked on the road homeward. Memories danced before our eyes – laughter, adventure, and the sheer beauty of nature. The road stretched ahead, a promise of more stories waiting to be told.
And there you have it, friends! – a glimpse into the pages of our New Mexico adventure. As we bid you farewell, for now, we encourage you to embrace your own journeys with open hearts and a zest for exploration. Until we meet again, keep chasing sunsets, sliding down dunes, and carving your own path through the world’s wondrous landscapes.
Things to Do at White Sands, New Mexico:
- Explore the Dunes: The main attraction at White Sands is, of course, the vast white sand dunes. Take a walk, hike, or even try sand sledding down the dunes. The landscape is breathtaking and provides excellent opportunities for photography.
- Sunset Strolls: The sunset over the white sand dunes is a mesmerizing sight. Plan to take an evening stroll and witness the shifting colors of the sky as the sun sets behind the dunes.
- Stargazing: White Sands is a designated International Dark Sky Park, making it an ideal spot for stargazing. Bring along a telescope or simply lay back and enjoy the unobstructed view of the night sky.
- Ranger Programs: The park offers various ranger-led programs that provide insights into the unique ecosystem, history, and cultural significance of the area. Check the schedule and join these programs to enhance your experience.
- Picnicking: There are picnic areas within the park where you can enjoy a meal surrounded by stunning dunes. Make sure to pack enough water and sunscreen.
- Photography: With its stark white landscape and ever-changing light, White Sands is a photographer’s paradise. Capture the play of light and shadows on the dunes throughout the day.
- Wildlife Viewing: Despite the harsh environment, the area hosts a surprising diversity of wildlife. Look out for animals like the bleached earless lizard and kit fox, especially during the cooler parts of the day.
Tips and Advice for Your Trip:
- Sun Protection: The sun can be intense in the desert. Wear sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from sunburn.
- Hydration: Carry plenty of water, especially if you’re planning to hike or explore. Dehydration can set in quickly in the desert environment.
- Footwear: Comfortable closed-toe shoes with good grip are recommended for walking on the sand dunes. Sand can get hot during the day, so you might want to wear socks and shoes that can easily be removed.
- Dress in Layers: While it can be hot during the day, temperatures can drop significantly at night. Dressing in layers will help you adjust to the temperature changes.
- Time Your Visit: The best times to visit are during the cooler parts of the day, either early morning or late afternoon. The sand can be scorching during midday.
- Permits and Fees: Check the park’s website for information on entry fees and any required permits. It’s also a good idea to book any guided tours in advance.
- Leave No Trace: Remember to follow the principles of Leave No Trace. Pack out all your trash and respect the delicate desert ecosystem.
- Accommodation: While there aren’t accommodations within the park, nearby towns like Alamogordo offer lodging options. Consider staying nearby to maximize your time in the park.
- Navigation: GPS can sometimes be unreliable in the desert. Bring a physical map or download offline maps to ensure you can navigate the area.
- Vehicle and Equipment: If you’re planning to do any sand sledding, bring your own sleds or rent them nearby.