Leaving Roswell and the Aliens behind we headed to Alamogordo NM and the White Sands National Monument.
Road to White Sands
White Sands National Monument is the world’s largest gypsum sand dune field and spans 275 square miles. I had heard of the White Sands Missile Range, but I certainly didn’t envision anything like this.
Gypsum is water-soluble and is rarely found in the form of sand but because the Tularusa Basin is enclosed with no outlet to the sea the rain leaves gypsum in a crystalline form. The winds form the white dunes which are constantly moving and changing shape. Much of the plant life is buried by the shifting sands, but some grow fast enough and their root system is so deep they remain in place.
The White Sands National Monument is accessible by car or RV and you can travel 8 miles through the dunes. (Restrooms are available on the path) The gypsum sand not get hot like other types of sand so you can easily walk on it barefoot. Kids and adults love sledding down the dunes. It’s a popular wedding spot, and it’s a great place to catch some sun.
The sunsets are gorgeous from all viewpoints!
One little downside… gypsum kind of clings to vehicles, shoes, clothes…. but that’s a little thing compared to the sights you will see and the fun you will have.