White Sands is 275 square miles of white gypsum sand dunes. Most of the monument is not open to the public. A good portion of the dunes are part of the White Sands Missile Range. When missiles are tested, parts of the Monument are closed to public access. The size of these dunes is mind boggling.....100 miles by 40 miles!
We drove only a short way down the 8 miles to the end of the road and stopped only once to do a one mile nature trail. If you are interested in spectacular photography of this area, do a goggle search. It's truly one of the most amazing places in the south west. In the meantime, here are a few shots from our visit.
The beginning of the trail.....
Few trees are able to withstand this harsh environment. Some appeared to be dead; while others had tiny leaf buds.
Many of the visitors were, like us, taking a detour from registration at the Base. All were happy to exchange photo opportunities.
Back to the car with shoes full of sand that ended up in my bag and, of course, back to my condo in Austin.
There is no camping at the Monument, but about 25 miles east is The Oliver Lee State Park with developed camping. Next time I will plan a longer visit and explore all the way to the end of the road!