White Sands National Monument

Every year in October my family makes a 9-hour trek south for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  We try to explore at least one other area in New Mexico while we're there and three years ago we drove 3.5 hours further south for a laid back day of fun at...

New Mexico


I say laid back because it was so easy to forget every adult care on my mind and spend the whole day being a kid with my kids.  The landscape is pristine and beautiful.  We watched rain showers coming in over the mountains for four hours before they finally made their way to us.  There was digging and sledding and rolling and running.  We got filthy and wind-burned.  We laughed and played until our legs refused to go up the hill any more.  And we can't wait to go back and do it again. 

(Next time, however, we're definitely going to camp there.  It seems like it might always be a little windy, with sand blowing all around, but the thought of seeing hills of white beneath full moonlight will surely make it worth the pain.)


New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico
A pretty amazing place to spend a day with your family 
New Mexico

Where was the last place you played in the sand all day?

More Information

The park is adjacent to the White Sands Missile Range.  
From time to time they do conduct missile testing there, 
causing temporary closures at the park.  
Be sure to check before driving all that way!

The gift shop does rent them out for a minimal daily price.
Look for the used ones for an even better deal.

34 comments:

  1. How gorgeous! Those beaches are incredible! I grew up in S. California and we could never go sledding down sand. Now I live where it gets snowy in the winter, but I think sand sledding sounds sooo much better than snow sledding. :)

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  2. I'm definitely a warm weather girl, so I agree with you! Sand sledding beats snow sledding anyday!

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  3. What are your favorite New England beaches?

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  4. That is amazing! Out in the middle of New Mexico? I had no idea that was out there. We spent a week last summer on the sandy beaches in Florida and the kids had so much fun playing in the sand. There's just nothing quite like the feel of the sand in your toes! We traveled to NM when I was a teen and visited some cliff dwellings. Have you ever been to them ? I think they were called Paladura Canyons? I'd love to see what it looks like now compared to my memories!

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  5. I lived in Santa Fe for four years growing up and the balloon fiesta was always on our calendar.

    White Sands is gorgeous. Sunsets there are amazing. And during the summer they do twilight tours where a park ranger teaches you about the nocturnal animals and such.

    This world is an amazing place!

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  6. I remember you saying before that you lived in NM! Such a fun place. We are definitely putting an overnight at White Sands on our to-do list! And you're right-if you're willing to stop and look at it, the world is an amazing place!

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  7. You're right about sand in the toes! Too bad that also means in the hair and the clothes and the shoes... :) I looked up Palo Dura Canyons-it's near Amarillo inTexas, so maybe you went there on your to/from New Mexico? Looks really pretty, though. Thanks for putting it on my radar!

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  8. This looks absolutely amazing. I bet the kids had a blast on the saucers. I know mine would. And I agree--it would be really cool to see the white sand by moonlight.

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  9. Terry My Journey With CandidaSeptember 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    I have never went sledding in the sand... It would be much warmer than the snow. Sounds like fun. http://www.myjourneywithcandida.com/

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  10. This looks like such a beautiful place and I love al of the clean, white sand.

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  11. Dawn Spatulas On ParadeSeptember 8, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    What an amazing place. Beautiful. And what fun sliding down a sand hill.

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  12. This would be so much more fun for me than sledding in the snow. I haven't had a day in the sand in a year!

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  13. What a great place for a family to walk barefoot :)
    October sounds just right

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  14. Looks like a place to have a ton of fun. Love the pictures and it is so beautiful. I think the last place that I played in the sand was on the beaches in southern California.

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  15. That white sand looks amazing! I grew up in Steveston, BC where we had these big sand dunes and we would climb up and then slide down. So much fun!

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  16. Marika CharalambousSeptember 9, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    Oh wow you guys must have had an awesome time at an awesome place!

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  17. Aw, there is nothing like this in the UK. What an awesome place! I hope you truly enjoyed it x

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  18. WOAH , this place is so wonderful . A fairytale location.
    Noor @ Noor's Place

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  19. That sand looks great! We love going to the beach as a family

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  20. This looks like a beautiful place to visit. I am not a beach person but when my kids were young I enjoyed going and playing in the sand with them building.

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  21. Oh my goodness this place looks beautiful. I've never seen such white sand before! My boys and girls would have a field day here. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. I'm not quite awake today and I admit I thought for a second why on earth are you in tshirt and shorts in the snow.. Looks amazing fun! x

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  23. What a gorgeous and serene place! That sand is white as snow! Lovely. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. What a beautiful place! We don't have white sand in my country. I must agree with @Sarah Bailey that for first look, I thought you all were in snow haha.

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  25. Looks like a nice relaxing place to be. I haven't played or been in sand in over a decade but that was in San Francisco at the beach.

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  26. We have been trying to get to the beach near us for years now. lol but we keep having babies. haha, we are hoping to get out there next summer. by then our little ones will be a little older and big enough to enjoy it. i'm loving all the pix in this post.

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  27. You took some wonderful pictures! It looks like you guys had a great time! It looks so relaxing there!

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  28. Wow, those are awesome pictures! White sand, man that would look great on a stormy day :) the contrast and all, dark clouds white ground. I'm all artsy today, haha sorry. It looks like a wonderful family place to go

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  29. Love those photos! It's been years since I played in the sand. Lol

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  30. Melinda Kuffler DunneSeptember 9, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    My husband and I have talked about going to the White Sands National Park but I honestly didn't know what to expect. I am glad you posted this because now I really want to go there it looks like so much fun. We love sledding and what is more fun than doing it in the sand!

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  31. Oh, definitely go! It is really out of the way, but completely worth it!

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  32. You're completely right! There was actually a storm that blew through the day we were there and it was beautiful. We felt very small in the world surrounded by nature in it's power all around us.

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  33. All the fun without the cold, I agree!

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