Monday, April 2, 2012

White Sands National Monument

After we got registered for the Bataan March, Bernie and I took a quick side trip 30 miles east to visit White Sands National Monument.  The white sand dunes are amazing and definitely worth a trip, but I had an ulterior motive for this visit......purchase of my National Park Service Senior Pass!  Ten dollars for free access to all the national parks (and many other mutual sites), not to mention reduced camping rates, FOREVER!  How cool is that?!?

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!








2 comments:

  1. Woohoo! Diana has her pass AND she got to see and take photos at a great place plus participate in the march. A win all the way around!

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  2. Congrats on the The PASS!! I am so glad that you got the Pass and that you got to see the phenom of the White Sands National Monument. It is a great place to visit and you will love you next visit, too!!

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