White Sands Nationwide Park is simply as magical as you think about will probably be. It’s one a number of locations that I constructed up in my thoughts that truly lived as much as my expectations. And though it’s in the midst of nowhere, and you’ll most actually be making a giant detour to see it, it’s price it!

There are a number of important issues that may make your go to that a lot better, so let’s dive in!

Go for Golden Hour/Sundown

Taken about an hour earlier than the sundown

Though White Sands Nationwide Park is spectacular at any time of day, it’s the couple of hours earlier than sundown that it comes alive with colour – sure, colour! That is whenever you’ll see shadows in among the dunes, the solar casting patterns on them because it units. Should you’re fortunate, there will likely be some clouds within the sky to create much more distinction.

One of the simplest ways to {photograph} that is with a zoom lens and to have your topic dealing with west with the solar behind them.

Even if you happen to’re not a photographer, make sure to keep for the sundown, as a result of it’s spectacular over these white dunes!

Additionally understand that the afternoon may be fairly windy within the spring, which is once I went. Nevertheless we did get fortunate and the wind utterly subsided for the sundown. If in case you have a camper van or automotive that received’t drain the battery with an open trunk or one thing comparable to hang around in to attend out the wind, you’ll be happier!

Deliver a Sled/Saucer!

Sledding down the dunes is a part of what makes White Sands a lot enjoyable, particularly for kiddos (you possibly can deliver canine, too!).

The most effective equipment is a snow saucer, the sort you used as a child. It’ll go quicker if you happen to wax the underside! And don’t fear, that is condoned by the nationwide park. They even have sleds which you could hire if you happen to can’t discover one to deliver with you!

We lucked out as a result of our Airbnb had some saucers that we may use, however we additionally observed that individuals left them behind on the picnic space for others to make use of.

So discover the tallest dune you possibly can, and lean again to slip quicker!

Examine Opening Hours First

white sands national park
Dawn, no, however sundown? Sure!

Most nationwide parks are open 24/7, nevertheless White Sands will not be. It’s normally open for the sundown, and it’ll typically keep open later through the full moon.

I consider it’s because that nationwide park is definitely inside a missile vary owned by the US navy.

Nevertheless it’s potential to get a allow to camp within the dunes in a single day. For the time being resulting from Covid, they don’t seem to be out there, however hopefully sooner or later will probably be potential once more. I can simply think about how beautiful the celebrities can be on the market!

Examine present park hours and closures right here.

Drive to the Finish and Face West

white sands national park

As nationwide parks go, I didn’t discover White Sands to be very crowded. You don’t should go far to get your individual dune.

I like to recommend driving to the tip of the street on the loop and strolling west on the dunes. We did so from one of many picnic areas and that’s how we obtained all the photographs that you just see right here. You will note some accessible strolling trails and different choices earlier on within the park, however the farther in you get the extra the dunes are mainly one huge path and there’s no set route.

For that reason, it’s crucial that you just go away no hint, and that you just orient your self so that you just don’t get misplaced! I like to recommend downloading maps.me, which is a free offline map app, earlier than you go so as to drop a pin the place you park to navigate again to.

We primarily used the solar to orient, however you’ve obtained to be a bit extra skilled with navigation order for that to work.

Deliver Water, Meals, and Sunscreen

white sands national park

When you go the customer heart on the very starting of the park entrance, there’ll now not be any providers. Which means you will be unable to refill water, will be unable to purchase snacks, meals, or sunscreen anyplace, though there will likely be bogs once in a while.

Many nationwide parks are like Disneyland in that it’s easy to remain on the path and to know the place you’re always. White Sands will not be like that, and also you want extra preparation to take pleasure in it. I beloved that it was a lot extra wild and that we had been free to discover, however which may not be for everybody.

Just be sure you deliver a hat for the solar, sunscreen, and all the water and meals that you’ll want.

The Solely Shelter is the Picnic Space

In case you do want some respite from the solar, there are picnic areas alongside the drive into the park that supply shade. If it occurs to be loopy windy prefer it was the afternoon that I went, these aren’t going to be that useful since you’ll be pelted with sand when you attempt to eat. In most different seasons which are much less windy I think about it’s good to hang around in there when you eat lunch.

In any other case, there aren’t any bushes, or shade, to talk of.

Know the Vastness and the Animals You’ll Share House With

white sands national park
Under every huge dune is an space with vegetation and flowers

That is the worlds largest gypsum in sand dune subject spanning 275 miles in the midst of the desert. It’d appear to be it will desolate, with no vegetation or animals, however that’s not true! There’s a water desk instantly below the sand, and if you happen to dig a bit below the floor on the low factors you’ll discover that the sand is moist!

Which means you’ll discover wildlife on the market, together with three sorts of rattlesnakes and scorpions. I nonetheless walked round barefoot, as that is the simplest option to climb dunes, and had no drawback. I solely deliver this up in order that you recognize to bear in mind.

Additionally understand that the desert is a fragile ecosystem, and it’s vital to not step on vegetation, and to go away essentially the most fertile dunes with plenty of vegetation alone.

Should you’re fortunate and also you’re visiting within the spring, you’ll see the Purple Sand Verbena in bloom. This plant was utilized by American Indians as a gentle sedative, which had a relaxing impact and was helpful in lowering nervousness, nervousness, and stress. Give it a sniff, it smells identical to gardenia!

My expertise at White Sands Nationwide Park was one I’ll always remember. The best way that the solar hit the dunes, and the abundance of vegetation on the market was superb to me. That is actually one of many pure wonders of the world, and we’re so fortunate to have it within the USA!

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