White Sands National Park

New Mexico, United States North America icon North America

White Sands National Park is located in south-central New Mexico right about the most western point of Texas, United States.  The national park encompasses an area of 224.58 square miles (581.67 sq km).

The New Mexico national park sits at an elevation of 4,235 feet (1,291 m).  The white sand is comprised of gypsum with it covering a field of gypsum sand dunes over 275 square miles (710 sq km).  It is the largest collection of gypsum sand dunes in the world.

One of the historical features of the national park is a collection of fossilized footprints from the ice age.

The white sand dunes are constantly changing their shapes as winds blow the sands downwind.  Dome, transverse, and parabolic dunes are located in the northern and southern regions of the park.

There are minimal vegetation and minimal wildlife species.  Lizards and mice are the primary species populating the area.

 

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Highlights

The endless sea of pure white gypsum sand dunes is the highlight of the park.  Families, children, and hikers enjoy playing and trekking in the sand.  One of the fun things is to take plastic sleds and slide down the dunes as if on snow.

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White Sands Trails

White Sands National Park allows for exploration throughout the park.  There is a boardwalk that allows easy access to experience the park.  With any of the trails, it is recommended that you wear protective gear, sunscreen lotion, and take plenty of water.  This is a desert and the temperatures can be quite hot. The springtime provides a great opportunity to see wildflowers amongst the vegetation surrounding the dunes.

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White Sands Highlights

  • Sea of white sand dunes

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