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White Sands National Monument: What's an Alamogordo?

We parked in the last lot we came to and got out of the car. I grabbed my camera bag, and Charise put on her jacket. Except for the black asphalt under our feet, there was white sand completely surrounding us. We left the parking lot, headed into the desert and promptly got lost... 

The White Sands National Monument

The White Sands National Monument is one of the worlds great natural wonders. The dunes cover 275 square miles of desert. White Sands is a misnomer though. It's not sand. It's actually gypsum. Most sand is made of quartz. I'm not sure why I'm pointing that out because I don’t really know what it means. It’s rare though and it’s not normal sand. That much I do know. Look at it. It's gorgeous. It’s white. Whatever it is, it’s amazing.

White Sands is located in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico. It's about 15 miles from Alamogordo. Have you ever heard of Alamogordo? Of course you haven't. It's 15 miles from a place you've never heard of. It's remote. It's rural. It's locked down like a military base. Is it worth altering any travel plans you have just to visit? Yes.

Homeland security did not play around at the entrance to the park.

Charise was very excited. 

Heading Out Into the Desert

So back to the opening paragraph. Yes, we got lost. The sky and sand run together. There are few landmarks and it's very easy to get disoriented. It’s so white that everything looks exactly the same. Thankfully, our phones were connected to the bluetooth in our car. The gps led us right back. Thanks Apple!

All through the park people were hiking up and sledding down the dunes. We didn’t bring sleds so we just ran around and took pictures. They looked super fun though. If you ever make the trip out, remember to bring a sled or rent one at the welcome center.

We raced. I won. I also cheated.

Conclusion

It's surreal. It's beautiful. It's isolated. We loved it. Whether you bring a sled to ride down the dunes or you're just planning to hike, White Sands is definitely worth your time. The only downside is its location. It's not exactly convenient or close to other major cities or attractions. But don’t let that deter you. White Sands is amazing, gorgeous and unique. Hopefully we can get lost again there one day.

 

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P.S.

Why haven't we blogged in a year? We're lazy. Wish there was a better reason but there isn't. Sorry. However, we've got a bunch of trips planned this year. Paris in March, Washington State in August and thats just the confirmed trips. Trying to fit Mexico and Petra in there as well. So that means lots of pictures and posts coming soon. I promise. 

Contact

Website

White Sands National Monument
19955 Highway 70 West
Alamogordo, NM 88310

Email: whsa_interpretation@nps.gov

Phone: (575) 479-6124

GPS Coordinates: 32º 46' 45" North, 106º 10' 19" West.

 

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