White Sands National Park

White Sands National Park The Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico, a high desert area, averages 4,000 feet (1200 meters) in elevation. Spring is the windy season. Summers are hot, averaging 95°F (35°C) highs with occasional readings over 100°F (38°C).

The park is open all year except for Christmas Day. Hours of operation vary depending up on the season. Dunes Drive opens everyday at 7:00 a.m. Please see our web page, https://www.nps.gov/whsa/planyourvisit/hours.htm, for exact closing times .

Mission: White Sands National Park protects the world’s largest geologically unique gypsum dunefield, and the flora and fauna living within it, while providing educational, research, and recreational opportunities compatible with the protection of the resources and maintenance of the solitude and silence of the dunes.

Happy National Moth Week!We are featuring one unique moth per day to celebrate National Moth Week, July 18th - 25th. Eac...
07/19/2020

Happy National Moth Week!

We are featuring one unique moth per day to celebrate National Moth Week, July 18th - 25th. Each featured moth represents a species only found within White Sands National Park.

Day 2: The name of this moth, Protogygia whitesandsensis, means: “The moth that comes from White Sands.” This moth species was the first moth species discovered, in 2007, as new to science from White Sands National Park. Adult moths with a wing span of about 1 1/2 inches fly in February, March, and April. The adult moths can be abundant in interdune areas where dark leaves, fallen from plants from the previous year’s growing season, litter the ground, providing a perfect background for the gray and white moths to hide in the winter.

It can be hypothesized that the darker color of the adult moths allow them to absorb solar radiation during the colder winter months when the days are the shortest. The extra solar radiation can warm the moths, allowing them to fly on cold winter nights. Adult moths were captured on nights when the temperatures were below freezing.

Photo credit: Eric Metzler

Image description: A white moth with dark markings on its wings rests on a white background. Image texts reads "Protogygia whitesandsensis".

Happy National Moth Week!We are featuring one unique moth per day to celebrate National Moth Week, July 18th - 25th. Eac...
07/18/2020

Happy National Moth Week!

We are featuring one unique moth per day to celebrate National Moth Week, July 18th - 25th. Each featured moth represents a species only found within White Sands National Park.

Day 1: Today's moth is named after White Sands' own moth expert, Eric Metlzer! To hear all about Eric's moth discoveries in the Park, check out our website at https://www.nps.gov/whsa/planyourvisit/mothapaloozapr.htm

Eucosma metzleri is a very small species of moth. The wingspan is less than 1/4 inch. It is known from only one location in White Sands National Park; fewer than 10 specimens, all deposited in the scientific collections of the Smithsonian, are known. Because of its small size and coloration resembling the dunes, it is speculated that E. metzleri may be easy to overlook by researchers.

The discovery of E. metzleri is a result of a study of moths sponsored by White Sands National Park. The study found approximately 60 previously unknown species of moths in one small area of the Park. Only five of the newly discovered species are known to exist in places other than White Sands National Park.

Photo credit: Eric Metzler

Image description: A pale golden moth with faint dark markings on its wings rests on a white background. Image text reads "Eucosma metzleri".

Welcome to the first-ever virtual MothaPalooza hosted by White Sands National Park!  White Sands is home to more than 60...
07/18/2020
2020 Mothapalooza - White Sands National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Welcome to the first-ever virtual MothaPalooza hosted by White Sands National Park!

White Sands is home to more than 60 unique, endemic species of moths, and it continues to be a place of exciting scientific discovery. MothaPalooza is our annual community exploration and celebration of that insect diversity and research.

To kick off 2020 MothaPalooza and National Moth Week, we have published an interview with White Sands' moth expert, Eric Metzler. In this interview, Eric describes his groundbreaking research into to the moths located at White Sands National Park and their importance to the park's ecosystem.

To listen, follow the link below:
https://www.nps.gov/whsa/planyourvisit/mothapaloozapr.htm

To conduct your own research, join White Sands and the National Moth Week's BioBlitz on iNaturalist:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/national-moth-week-2020

The further we stay away from each other, the closer we get… to ending this pandemic. Please plan on practicing social d...
07/12/2020

The further we stay away from each other, the closer we get… to ending this pandemic. Please plan on practicing social distancing whenever you visit White Sands. Whether that’s by following the distancing stickers laid out at the visitor center and gift shop or giving each other space while hiking through the dunes, we can all work together to #FlattenTheCurve.

While the park is open again, we still might be far away from you. During these times where we’re encouraged to recreate...
07/11/2020

While the park is open again, we still might be far away from you. During these times where we’re encouraged to recreate locally, you can still experience White Sands from home. Visit our website and social media pages, participate in the #RemoteRangerProject, or do your research and plan a future trip. We’re looking forward to seeing you when you can #RecreateResponsibly at America’s newest national park!

One of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe is to avoid danger altogether. Out here in the desert it can get...
07/10/2020

One of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe is to avoid danger altogether. Out here in the desert it can get scorching hot, so we advise visitors not to hike when it’s above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. However, when it’s not too toasty out and you’re really hankering to hike, try to hike with the people you live with. Hiking with your household can help prevent COVID-19 from spreading. And if you are hiking (by yourself or with a buddy) you don’t need to stay on trail! There’s plenty of room to give other visitors space out on the dunes. So do your best to #KnowYourLimits and #KeepYourDistance!

"Health Day" Make it a 4-day weekend with a visit to a National Park. A healthy and enjoyable way to wind down a weekend...
07/06/2020
Parks Near Veterans Administration Facilities - American Military (U.S. National Park Service)

"Health Day" Make it a 4-day weekend with a visit to a National Park. A healthy and enjoyable way to wind down a weekend of festivities. Share your own story of healing in the parks.

#MilitaryMondaysPlus
#FindYourPark
#RecreateResponsibly
#HealthyParksHealthyPeople
#PositivelyWell
#ActivePeople
#MoreThanEverBefore

While you’re there, spend some time at a nearby national park—there are more than 400 to choose from! You can relax, explore nature, find your recreation zone, discover culture, experience history, and have fun.

Do you want to get outside, but you feel a moral obligation to social distance? At White Sands National Park you can hav...
07/05/2020

Do you want to get outside, but you feel a moral obligation to social distance? At White Sands National Park you can have the best of both worlds!

Are you an avid photographer? Perhaps you're an aspiring yogi or a lover of picnics? Whatever sparks joy for you, we invite you to do it responsibly!

A day at the park looks a little different lately, but we are open now and look forward to seeing you! (At a safe distance that is!)

#WhiteSands #NationalPark #RecreateResponsibly #KnowBeforeYouGo #PlanAndPrepare #LeaveNoTrace #SafetyFirst #COVID19 #CoronaVirus #SocialDistancing #WeAreInThisTogether

Image Description:
Infographic entitled "A Little Space Goes a Long Way" illustrating 6 different ways to measure 6ft: 2 picnic tables, a moose's antlers, 1 yoga mat, a national park sign, 2 information waysides, and 1 grizzly bear.

A great way to #RecreateResponsibly is making sure you stay watered and fed. There is no water in the dunefield, only a ...
07/04/2020

A great way to #RecreateResponsibly is making sure you stay watered and fed. There is no water in the dunefield, only a fill up station at the visitor center. To prevent crowding at the fill up station, please bring your own water to the park. We advise bringing at least 1 gallon of water per person per day when visiting the dunes. And don't forget snacks!

Summer is here, yay! Stay cool with these hot weather tips. 🤠👍Play it safe! Plan on hiking early in the day and choose e...
07/03/2020

Summer is here, yay! Stay cool with these hot weather tips. 🤠👍

Play it safe! Plan on hiking early in the day and choose easy trails. The dune field offers no water or shade.

Before heading to the park, grab the items on the checklist below.

💦 One gallon per person
☀️ Sunglasses, hat, & sunscreen
🔋 Fully charged cell phone
🥨 Salty snacks

Have the most fun by planning ahead and arriving prepared. Stay safe and recreate responsibly!

Check out our website nps.gov/whsa or call the visitor center before heading to the park for the most current information.

#WhiteSands #NationalPark #RecreateResponsibly #KnowBeforeYouGo #PlanAndPrepare #LeaveNoTrace #SafetyFirst #COVID19 #CoronaVirus #SocialDistancing #WeAreInThisTogether

Image Description:
Illustrated poster. The silhouette of an elk in a forest at the base of a mountain. Text reads "Recreate Responsibly. NPS.gov. US Department of the Interior. National Park Service."

#AllInItTogether● You can BYOB, but make sure you also BYOW - that is, bring your own water. Getting here with full tank...
07/03/2020

#AllInItTogether

● You can BYOB, but make sure you also BYOW - that is, bring your own water. Getting here with full tanks helps prevent crowding at the park’s single water fountain and gives you more time to explore the dunes.
● Remember that all Ranger-led programs are currently postponed. Maps, brochures, safety information will all be waiting for you at the entrance station located right on Dunes Drive.
● Prepare to socially distance yourself from the people (and creatures) that aren’t in your household. This might mean standing in line outside on our 6-feet markers while waiting to enter some of our facilities.
● Bring a face covering for moments where social distancing isn’t possible and avoid touching your face with unsanitized hands.
● Be mindful of your own bodily functions (not your neighbors’). Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze - when in doubt, dab it out.

White Sands National Park is open to the public.Following the latest public health guidance to reduce the risk of exposu...
06/29/2020
Current Conditions - White Sands National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

White Sands National Park is open to the public.

Following the latest public health guidance to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and reduce potential impacts to local communities, White Sands National Park has limited services available to the public.

Please follow CDC guidance, as well as New Mexico Public Health Orders, in order to protect yourself and others.

Park rangers are on duty and normal regulations still apply.

As services are limited, White Sands urges visitors to:

Park only in designated areas
Pack out everything you bring in
Maintain 6 ft (2 m) social distance from others
Stay on marked trails
Be prepared for limited access to restrooms and other facilities

Please check our current conditions page for the latest information.

#COVID19, #socialdistancing #wereallinthistogether #RecreateResponsibly

Time for another Bingo... After Dark! Today at 8:15 pm, the sun will set over White Sands National Park. The planetary s...
06/13/2020

Time for another Bingo... After Dark!

Today at 8:15 pm, the sun will set over White Sands National Park. The planetary shift to darkness will unveil stars, planets, and other extraordinary objects in our night sky! Our challenge for you (and your friends!) is to find as many of these objects in your night sky as you can!

How to play:

1. Take a screenshot or print your bingo card.
2. Go outside and look up! Easy right?
3. Find the items on the Bingo card and check them off as you go.
4. Share with your friends to see if they can find as many as you did!

HINT: Use the big dipper as a guide! Follow the pour spout to find the north star. Follow the handle to find the star called Arcturus. Arcturus is part of the Bootes constellation. If conditions are right, you may even be able to see the milky way through the summer triangle!

As the seasons change, different objects become visible overhead. The ideal time and location for this game is late spring to early summer, in the northern hemisphere, on a clear night. If you can’t play tonight, the stars will still be up again tomorrow!

Do you live in a city? You will probably notice more sky glow than someone who lives in a rural area. Look around your house to see if there are any lights that can be turned off to make your view of the night sky even better!

Take your time, you’ve got this! The sky's the limit.

Image description: BINGO card with twelve spaces that each feature an astronomical object.

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be...
06/03/2020

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be online between 1 PM - 3 PM (MDT) today. https://www.instagram.com/whitesandsnps

Image description: Black spider with red hourglass shape on body.

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be...
05/29/2020

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be online between 1 PM - 3 PM (MDT) today. https://www.instagram.com/whitesandsnps

Image description: Brightly colored hot air balloon on top of white sand dunes.

The National Park Service invites you to join in a virtual Memorial Day commemoration as we honor the men and women of o...
05/25/2020
Virtual Memorial Day (U.S. National Park Service)

The National Park Service invites you to join in a virtual Memorial Day commemoration as we honor the men and women of our military who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. #MilitaryMondayPlus

Virtual Memorial Day

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be...
05/22/2020

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be online between 1 PM - 3 PM (MDT) today. https://www.instagram.com/whitesandsnps

Image description: Windstorm blowing sand across the sand dunes at White Sands National Park

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be...
05/15/2020

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be online between 1 PM - 3 PM (MDT) today. https://www.instagram.com/whitesandsnps

Image description: Historical photograph with park ranger riding a horse on the sand dunes.

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be...
05/01/2020

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be online between 1 PM - 3 PM (MDT) today. https://www.instagram.com/whitesandsnps

Image description: animated mammoth on playa lake bed with fossilized mammoth footprints.

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be...
04/24/2020

Have a question about White Sands? Join park rangers this afternoon at our virtual visitor center on Instagram. We'll be online between 1 PM - 3 PM (MDT) today. https://www.instagram.com/whitesandsnps
#NationalParkWeek #FindYourVirtualPark #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque

Image description: tarantula on white sand dunes

Before household computers, the internet, smartphones, and electric cars, a 25-year-old graduate student named Denis Hay...
04/22/2020

Before household computers, the internet, smartphones, and electric cars, a 25-year-old graduate student named Denis Hayes struck a spark of inspiration in 20 million Americans. 50 years ago today, Hayes organized the largest people's protest in the world.

Today, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by recognizing past achievements and new global obstacles to overcome. We celebrate National Park Week by recognizing the 419 sites that the National Park Service preserves and protects!

Though Earth Day only happens once a year, it's not your only chance to explore and support the community of life that surrounds you. If you are inspired to send a message to your community on this Earth Day, leave a comment below!

#EarthDay #NationalParkWeek #FindYourPark #EncuetraTuParque

Image description: visitors to White Sands National Park climb a sand dune at sunset.

White Sands may be in a desert, but dig a little deeper and you'll notice water is everywhere. Let's explore how as we #...
04/21/2020

White Sands may be in a desert, but dig a little deeper and you'll notice water is everywhere. Let's explore how as we #ParkItAtHome!

Every day cool cats like you ask, “Why don’t the sand dunes blow away when it's windy?”

Here's what you'll need for this week’s #RemoteRangerProject: a small plate to represent the Tularosa Basin, one teaspoon of water, one drop of food coloring, and a quarter cup of table salt or sugar.

Step 1: Put the teaspoon of water on your plate and add food coloring.
Step 2: Pour the salt or sugar into the center of the water, forming a miniature dune.
Step 3: Blow on your sand dune!

Did your dune shift? Without water, your dune would have no foundation to keep its core in place. Despite its barren appearance, water is the key to sustaining America's newest national park.

#NPS #FindYourVirtualPark

Image Descriptions
Image 1: Photo of a flooded picnic table area with white dune, mountains, and fluffy clouds in the sky.
Image 2: Photo of a gold measuring cup pouring salt onto a pool of blue water on a white plate.
Image 3: Diagram of dune showing dry layer of sand, saturated sand, and groundwater.

Address

Alamogordo, NM
88310

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