White Sands National Monument, New Mexico: sand dunes and sledding

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When I started my second cross-country road trip, I didn’t have the highest hopes for New Mexico (not sure why because it’s gorgeous). I hopped onto my apple maps when I stopped at a gas station; I was tired of being in my car and needed to see some scenery. I zoomed in to a little green spot on my maps…. Yes this is how I find a lot of my hikes and beautiful scenery.

I saw the White Sands National Monument and hopped on instagram and looked at hash tags for it and it looked amazing!! I started driving after spending about 4 seconds looking at pictures of it.

This ended up being one of my favorite stops in 2019!

Follow Charles Lickens (my cat) on Instagram! @charlesadventurekitty

What to Bring

  • Your beautiful body
  • Check the weather and dress for the weather that day. I wore jean shorts and a swim suit top & cover because it was almost 90 degrees that day. The sand is super soft so feel free to go barefoot (easier than walking in sandals)!
  • Portable solar charger for your phone and camera. The one I have folds up small into about the size of a folder and fits well in any backpack!
  • Water WATER water. Always a lot of water in these dry, hot climates. I brought my Hydroflask, it keeps water ice cold all day!
  • A sled or boogie board ( you can get them at the entrance too but you will have to pay).

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

Location

  • White Sands National monument is location in Southern New Mexico, not far from the Mexico boarder.
  • Located off Hwy 70
  • Easily traveled to from:
    • El Paso, TX (super close!)
    • Las Cruces, NM (Also super close!)
    • Albuquerque, NM
    • Tucson, AZ (and Phoenix if you don’t mind the drive)
    • San Antonio, TX (And most of Western Texas by car)

Arriving at the National Monument

White Sands National Monument

When you pull up to the National Monument, it has a similar vibe as National Parks. Your National Park Service Pass will work to get into the park… although I don’t remember anyone checking! There’s a welcome building, gift shop, restrooms and an area inside the gift shop to rent or buy sleds.

Being the adventure and adrenaline junkie I am, renting a sled was the first thing I did. I checked out the gift shop on my way out because I was too excited. Once you get your sled you head towards the entrance of the park. There was no fee to get in.

Don’t forget to buy wax in the shop for your sled!

Follow Charles on Instagram! @Charlesadventurekitty

Inside the Monument

Right away you get sucked into the unique beauty of this place. Just look at the road driving in.

The road drives through all of the sand dunes and loops around at the end so you can drive back. I found a little spot where there was no people, I like the serenity of silence when you’re in nature alone. I had my cat… per usual so I brought him out along with a blanket and we relaxed in the sun for a while.

I went back to my car and grabbed the sled I had just bought and started to wax it up. I ran up to the top of the sand dune… which is very exhausting after a few times (just warning you but still amazing). I would run and jump onto my sled and fly down the dune. It was so much fun and unlike anything I had done before.

If you are in the area I would highly recommend stopping by! It’s also a great place to take some awesome photos!

Be sure to pack out what you pack in. Leave no trace!!

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

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