White Sands National Monument
A Walk On The Moon
Welcome to White Sands National Monument. Located in the more Southern part of New Mexico, this far out destination is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. So kick off your shoes, grab a sand board, and head to the dunes!
what is this place?
When you arrive to White Sands National Monument - I promise you will say these words! This slice of New Mexico is a true beauty. My pictures don’t do it justice, but it is rolling hills of white sand for as far as the eye can see. And not only is it just pure beauty, the sand is as soft as Lanikai Beach in Hawaii. We seriously just laid down and rolled in it!! While at the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, the sand is SO hot you can barley even touch it. While it is a part of the National Park system, it is not a National Park. However, you still have to pay for entry!
how much does it cost?
White Sands will cost you $20 per vehicle that comes in. The full pricing break down is here. However, if you have the America the Beautiful Pass - you can breeze right in! This is SUCH a good investment because it is only $80 and last the entire year. With it you can get into any National Park or monument!! You can read more about it here.
what can you do here?
Besides just having a down right blast - there is so much to do here! Obviously you can drive through the Monument and just admire this insane slice of Earth. But I truly believe you should leave nothing unexplored! Park in one of the designated lots and walk around a bit. The sand is SO soft - it feels so good between your toes. Plus it is so much fun trying to climb up these dunes - I promise your quads will be burning and belly will be laughing!
The other two main activities here are Sand Sledding and Hiking! This monument is ‘in the middle-of-no-where’ with very little shade so if you do choose to try one of the hikes please be prepared. Pack lots of water, wear a hat + sunscreen, and take lots of breaks. Here is an official list and details of the hikes offered here! There are handicap accessible walks, easy hikes for families, and long trecks for all the expert adventurers out there!
Now can one really come to the dunes and not sled? This was the highlight for us and just a down right blast. They sell these sand sleds at the gift shop for I believe $15 or $20 and wax for about $2. You can donate them back to the gift shop for I think a $10 refund and then these boards are re-sold as used for a cheeper price! You may also bring your own sled if you have one, and just grab some wax to make it slide in the sand! We bought and kept our sled because we will use it all over like at Great Sand Dunes and Death Valley Dunes! It is such a fun activity to make you feel like a kid again. Just remember though - what goes down must come up :)
where is it at?
White Sands Monument is kind of in the middle of no where New Mexico, but that is one of the reasons it is so special! You need a car to get here, but I promise it is worth the drive.
It is in Southern New Mexico, about 3 and 1/2 hours south from Albuquerque. If you come down this far you might as well head to Carlsbad National Park next :)
a movie set dream
Perhaps one of the coolest parts is that this landscape has been home too many famous movies and documentaries! We learned that Transformers One and Two had parts filmed here. Rashawn immediately found the scenes and we watched them right where they were filmed - how cool is that? The National Park Service keeps a record of all film making done here so check it out here if you want to learn more! I love exploring places films were made because it makes you feel like you have an inside scoop! Plus it gives you so much perspective and appreciation. I’ll never forget crossing the Shibuya Cross walk in Tokyo, and immodestly going back to the Air BnB to watch Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift!! :)
We still talk about our visit here and what a beautiful landscape this was! If you are ever in New Mexico add this adventure to the list!