New Mexico is a big state full of rich history and incredibly vast wilderness just waiting to be explored. A fun-filled road trip is the best way to see it all by and a stop at White Sands National Park is sure to be a highlight of your trip! White Sands National Park is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The gleaming white sands crafted from gypsum (calcium sulfate) crystals make for a sight like no other. Climb the otherworldly dunes and learn about this stunning world wonder. White Sands is the perfect stop for adults and kids alike. Break up your western road trip with a visit to New Mexico’s newest national park!
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Everything You Need to Know About White Sands National Park
Plan your visit to Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch with a sightseeing stop in the Tularosa Basin at White Sands National Park. See New Mexico like never before when you visit the world’s largest gypsum dune field, an incredibly rare sight to be seen. Hike up the towering dunes and sled back down, making it an exciting adventure for the whole family! Here’s everything you need to know about White Sands National Park:
About the Park
White Sands National Park is located in Southern New Mexico along U.S. Route 70, about four hours southeast from Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch and about an hour and a half north of El Paso. The sparkling sands expand over 275 miles throughout the Tularosa Basin. It is situated within the White Sands Missile Range, causing occasional road closures, so be sure to check the road schedule before planning your visit.
History of White Sands National Park
Before the Ice Age, White Sands National Park was sprawling with lush vegetation, large lakes, and flowing rivers. Animals such as lions, saber-toothed cats, wolves, sloths, and more inhabited the area and fossils have been found scattered around the basin.
In 1933, President Herbert Hoover designated nearly 150,000 acres of the area as White Sands National Monument. The wondrous dunes have since been protected under the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, making White Sands our country’s newest National Park.
Things to Do at the Park
White Sands is filled with exciting things to do. Adventure enthusiasts will love biking or even driving across the dunes while kids (and kids at heart) will have a blast “sledding” down the sugary dunes. The park also offers a nature garden featuring all of the area’s native plants, horseback riding, picnicking, and several beautiful hiking trails.
Local Tip: Bring plenty of sun protection and water. Even when you don’t feel the sun on your skin, the UV rays are strong in the desert. Be sure to bring sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.
Complete Your New Mexico Road Trip With a Stay at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch
Are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime? Book your visit to Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch! Our all-inclusive ranch includes a stay in one of our cozy cabins, daily horseback riding adventures through spectacular canyons, across spring-fed creeks and to the “top of the world,” three home-cooked meals a day, and everything you need to enjoy the stunning New Mexico surroundings here in the 3.3 million-acre Gila National Forest.
Discover all of New Mexico’s natural wonders during your next visit. Learn about all the spots you need to see from the people who know it best. Click here for a comprehensive list of all of our favorite places and let us help you plan your next vacation. We can’t wait to welcome you to New Mexico!