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White Sands Monument – Worth the Drive

Follow along as we drive the Dune Loop at White Sands Monument. The sheer beauty of the dunes was more than we had expected.

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There is some white sand on the floor mats in our car. It is also in the hatchback where the dogs rode after our day walking the trails and climbing the incredible dunes at White Sands Monument. We’re not ready to clean it out yet. It reminds us of the beautiful day we spent there.

The weather was perfect the day we drove from our campsite at Fort Bliss RV Park in El Paso Texas to the White Sands Monument in New Mexico. The monument is about 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo, New Mexico, and about 93 miles from our site.

We left around mid-morning, stopped at Holloman Air Force base for lunch, and arrived at the Visitors’ Center a little before 1:30pm. 2F7A5132The visitor center complex, designed in Pueblo Revival style, is a national historic district in itself. It was built in the 1930’s as a depression era job-creation project. 2F7A5135
The center also features a garden with native plants of the Chihuahuan desert.

 

After checking out the center, we drove to the entrance station of the Dunes Trail, paid our entrance fees ($5.00 each) and started our drive. A little over 2 miles into the dunes, we stopped at the Dune Life Nature Trail. It is a one mile self-guided loop trail through the dunes that is marked with information on the animal life in the area. This area of the dunes also has abundant plant life. The dogs were ready to stretch their legs and check out all the new smells in the sand.plants-along-white-sands-dune-life-nature-trail

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After completing the trail, we resumed the Dunes Drive. Our next stop was the Interdune Boardwalk. The boardwalk is a fully accessible, .4 miles round trip and has an interactive area with great information on the formation of the gypsum dunes.interdune-dune-boardwalk

 

The dogs weren’t too thrilled with the boardwalk and wanted to get back on the sand.

Shortly after we resumed our drive, the pavement ended and we were driving on the SAND. I double checked the map and that is what it showed. End of Pavement. The white dunes rose up on either side of the road.dune-loop-after-pavement-ends

We soon entered the loop that is marked on the map as the “Heart of the Sands.” We stopped several times to checked out places noted on the map. We drove through the two picnic areas and had to get pictures of the tables.

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Picnic area from the road
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The picnic tables looked like small sail boats on the sand.

There are several parking areas and rest rooms on the Dune Drive.parking-lot-alomg-dune-loop-white-sands-monument

We continued through the loop, stopping several times to get out, walk up the dunes and just take in the beauty. We also watched people sliding down on sleds. It looked like fun but wasn’t something we had planned to do.white-sands-national-monument

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Sliding down the dune.

We saw several different messages written in the sand by other visitors. We added a message of our own.2F7A5293

As sunset approached, we headed to the meeting place for the Sunset Stroll. We did not plan to take the stroll, but wanted to be in a good place to see the sun setting.

We parked in the small cleared area, did some more exploring and waited for the sunset. The dogs were enjoying their time outside as well.2F7A5342

People climbed the dunes and prepared to photograph the sunset.2F7A53312F7A5396

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After the sunset, we headed back to El Paso. We had run out of snacks for the dogs and they were getting hungry.

For more information on White Sands Monument, check out their website. White Sands National Monument

For more pictures from our day on the dunes, check out Photography by Andreas

If you liked this post, please click Like and share it with your friends. Dune-loop-Self-portrait-white-sands

 

 

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