White Sands National Monument is a mesmerizing place. The rolling sand dunes beckon you to come out and take in the wonder of pure white gypsum sand stretching out to your horizon. It is as if you were walking on the sea and off in the distance there is an island of yucca and grass…so you go to investigate. After a few of these islands you might be a half mile from your car. If it is 100 degrees, that half mile is a long way. If you follow your tracks you can get back but if you strike out thinking you know the way straight across the dunes you can get lost.
There were two recent deaths at White Sands as a family tried to hike a trail through the dunes in intense heat without sufficient water. My last visit was in the fall of 2013 and it was pleasantly cool. The sand dunes are always moving so your next visit won’t be like the last. The park managers have to struggle to keep the roads uncovered. I have posted a few pictures from our visit.