White Sands Balloon Invitational 2008 / © Robin Roberts

White Sands Events

Please note that schedules are subject to change. Activities may be cancelled due to weather or missile range activities. For information call the monument at 575-479-6124 ext. 236.

Sunset Strolls

Daily. Enjoy a leisurely one-hour ranger-guided walk through sand dunes and learn about the geology, plants, and animals of this unique area. A great opportunity for photographing the dunes at sunset.

Program is free. Monument entrance fees apply. More info at NPS.gov

Tent Talks

Memorial Day through Labor Day: Daily
Rest of the year: On weekends

Have you ever wondered where all this gypsum came from? Or how animals survive in this harsh environment? Join a ranger under the tent on the Innerdune Boardwalk for a 20-minute program that highlights some of the lesser-known stories about White Sands National Monument.

Programm is free. Monument entrance fees apply. More info at NPS.gov

Skins and Skulls

Memorial Day through Labor Day: Daily
Rest of the year: On weekends

Join a ranger in the visitor center courtyard for a 20-minute talk about the amazing animals of White Sands. Rangers will have pelts, skulls, and other props to provide you with an up-close look and feel of the elusive wildlife of White Sands.

Programm is free. Monument entrance fees apply. More info at NPS.gov

Crafty Kids

On specific days at 2 p.m.
A 30-minute program for children ages 6-10. Use your imagination to fashion a craft while listening to a ranger-led interpretive program. Rangers will share surprising facts about the creepy crawlers, amazing adapters, and out-of-this-world geology of White Sands while guiding kids through a take-home craft project.

Parents are welcome to stay and participate.

Programm is free. Monument entrance fees apply. More info at NPS.gov

Full Moon Hikes

Once a month (May through October)
Have you ever wondered what the dunes look like under the glow of the moon? Join a ranger for a full moon hike and see firsthand the dunes in a whole new light.

Reservations are required and special fees apply. More info at NPS.gov

Full Moon Nights

Once a month (May through October)
Think of it as an orderly tailgate party. But instead of tailgates it's dunes. Bring your camp chair, your cooler, and your friendly pet.

Programm is free. Monument entrance fees apply. More info at NPS.gov

Sunrise Photography

Twice each year in March and October.
See the first rays of the morning sun push over the Sacramento Mountains. Rangers will share tips on taking great photos in the early morning light.

Reservations are required and special fees apply. More info at NPS.gov

Full Moon Bike Ride

Twice each year in April and October.
Enjoy a leisurely ride with your friends and family through the monument. For these rides, the Dunes Drive is re-opened for three hours after dark for bicycles only.

Reservations are required and special fees apply. More info at NPS.gov

Lake Lucero Tour

Six tours per year. Hike with a ranger to the source of the sands and learn about the formation of the dunes. A three-hour trip to the gypsum crystal beds of Lake Lucero. Next opportunity on:
Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 26,2017 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.
Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Reservations are required and special fees apply. More info at NPS.gov

Bataan Memorial Death March

Annually. Next date: March 19, 2017 Choose between two routes, 26.2 miles or 15.2 miles through the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The 27th annual Bataan Memorial Death March is conducted in honor of the World War II veterans who defended the Philippine Islands.

More info: + Military at White Sands / Bataan
Online registration and everything: + Bataanmarch.com

Trinity Site Tour

Annually on the first Saturday of April.
Next date: Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m

Visit Trinity Site, the spot where in 1945 the first atomic bomb exploded. This is more of an open house day rather than a guided tour. There are no ceremonies or speakers at the site.

There is no admission fee for this event.

How to get there:
You can enter White Sands Missile Range through the Stallion Range Center gate, which is located five miles south of U.S. Highway 380, off of Interstate 25 at the San Antonio, N.M. exit.
From Las Cruces, take I-25 north and get off at the San Antonio exit. The exit is about 12 miles south of Socorro.
The Stallion gate is open during each open house from 8 am to 2 pm. At the gate, visitors will receive literature about Trinity Site, and will be allowed to drive without military escort the final 17 miles to Trinity Site. The road is paved and will be marked.

Alternatively, you can join the caravan organized by the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce. The caravan forms at the Tularosa High School football field parking lot in Tularosa. The line-up starts at 7 am and leaves promptly at 8 am. It is an 85-mile drive to the site from Tularosa, and there are no services on the route or at the site. The caravan is led by White Sands personnel once it gets onto the missile range. It is scheduled to leave for the return trip between 12.30 and 1 pm.

All adults must show a photo ID when entering the missile range. All vehicles are subject to search and should be carrying proof of insurance and current registration papers. Weapons are prohibited on White Sands Missile Range land.
Food and souvenirs are sold at the site.

More info:
+ Trinity Site
+ White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office: (575) 678-1134
+ White Sands Missile Range Web Site
+ Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce contact number (575) 437-6120
If you wish to take the bus to Trinity Site, call this number for bus ticket price and more info.

26th White Sands Balloon Invitational

Annually the third weekend in September.
Next date: Saturday - Sunday, September 16-17, 2017

More info:
+ Pat Raub 575-430-9226
+ Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce
+ Photos, info, and recap of the Hot Air Balloon Invitational in previous years

Photo: White Sands Balloon Invitational 2008 © Robin Roberts
If you know of an event that should be listed here, please drop us a mail. To the best of our knowledge all information is current. If you should discover any errors, however, please let us know. Thanks!
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