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White Sands National Monument Activities

Sightseeing along Dunes Drive; picnicking in the Heart of the Dunes area; hiking, backcountry camping; observing plants and wildlife along the boardwalk.

Your first stop should be the White Sands visitor center, which includes a museum, information desk, book store, gift shop and restrooms. Allow approximately 30 minutes for visitor center activities.

From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, ranger-led activities are scheduled daily, including nature walks and evening slide programs. Check at the visitor center for the day's activities.

An eight-mile scenic drive leads from the Visitor Center into the heart of the dunes. Wayside exhibits at pullouts along the drive provide information about the natural history of the park.

Numerous parking areas along the drive allow visitors to stop and walk in the white sands. Allow 40 minutes driving time for the 16-mile roundtrip, plus additional time for walking, photography or stopping at pullouts. The Interdune Boardwalk has interpretive exhibits.

For those who would like to explore the dunes on foot, the Dune Life Nature Trail is a one-mile self-guided nature trail. A booklet, available at the trailhead, discusses the plants and animals that live within the dunes. The Alkali Flat Trail, which starts from the end of the Dunes Drive, is a 4.6 mile (round-trip) backcountry trail that traverses the heart of the dunefield.

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