Getting lost is not only embarrassing but very dangerous. We visited the Grand Canyon and surrounding area for our honeymoon, but that’s coming up on twenty years now. If you can’t call, try to text a friend who is in a reliable service spot to call 911 for you. The ideal location for the holiday of your choice. You can get, Flashlights/Headlamps: The beauty about backcountry camping is that you can actually see the stars! Unless you are road tripping through, the closest airport is in El Paso, Texas, which is about an hour and a half away. But that also means it’s pitch black too, so bring a flashlight (I’m a fan of these. My 10-year old would love sledding down these dunes. Photograph by Tira Howard. Die Dünen des White Sands Nationalpark mögen auf den ersten Blick sehr lebensfeindlich wirken, aber es gibt tatsächlich Pflanzen und Tiere, die sich den speziellen Gegebenheiten angepasst haben. Since the weather can be a bit extreme and there are only a few spots, we’ve put together all our tips to help you make the most of camping in White Sands National Park in New Mexico. The nearby towns of Alamogordo and Las Cruces have a large variety of restaurants as well. Backcountry camping in the park is a truly an amazing and memorable experience. There are no car noises from campers who arrive late. What a find! There is NO off-road driving allowed. Sleeping Since cell service is bad your phone battery can drain quickly, so we had our phones off or on airplane mode whenever we weren’t using them. Summer days average about 95°F (35°C), but can spike as high as 110°F (38°). We bought the $2 wax, but I don’t think it made much of a difference. Always pack-out anything you pack-in; including trash such as food wrappers and empty bottles. I love exploring the outdoors, photography, diving deeper beyond the popular tourist stops, and sharing all the practical tips from our travels here on this blog. You just added a new place to our bucket list. The U.S. Army started using this area as a missile testing area back in 1945, and still periodically conducts tests. We’ve visited our fair share of beautiful places on our travels these last few years, but there have only been a few natural wonders that have left me in such awe that I wondered if the ground underfoot was still planet Earth. White Sands was established as a National Monument in 1933, and it was officially designated as a National Park on December 20th, 2019 – making it the most recent National Park in the US! It seems weird for hundreds of miles of sand to be in the middle of the desert, but this area used to be under water over 250 million years ago. Roughly a quarter mile to a mile from the Backcountry Camping Loop trailhead, the campsites (closed indefinitely due to COVID-19) create a secluded back-to-nature … I may have groaned a little bit when Aaron wanted to pick campsite 5 – it’s in the middle of the loop, which means we had to hike our gear in and out one mile both ways. Here is a list of gear you’ll need: One of the funnest things to do in White Sands National Park is to go sand sledding, so don’t forget to bring your sled with you when you head out to your tent. This may sound like serious exaggeration, but looking out to see the sculpted dunes of sparkling white gypsum at White Sands National Park in southern New Mexico is otherworldly. Over half of the dune field is occupied by the White Sands Missile Range. Hope that helps! History . White Sands National Park has more than 143,000 acres of desert landscape to explore, but only 1 road! Camping in White Sands can be complicated for a few reasons, so here are our tips for making sure you snag a spot and have a great experience. Though we do have primitive camping sites for backpackers, there is no campground for RVs or vehicles within White Sands National Monument. We're three adventurous travelers exploring the globe one trip at a time. The key to having a fun and exciting experience hiking and camping at the park takes preparation and common sense. The White Sands National Park is a natural wonder, a desert in New Mexico, USA. The park contains the world's largest gypsum sand dune field—275 sq mi (710 km 2) of fine white sand, formed by the prevailing winds into large ridge-like dunes. The cell service out here is not good. Oliver Lee Memorial State Park: This state park is about 30 minutes away from White Sands and costs $12 per night to camp. However, strong windstorms are somewhat common during these months. After the Permian Sea dried up and disappeared, the gypsum seabed eventually broke down into smaller particles. But, by the time dusk fell and everyone was pitching their tents, it looked like most of the camping spots were taken. Evenings are comfortable in the 60s, so summer can be a great option if you only plan to be there for sunset through sunrise, and then find somewhere cooler during the heat of the day. You'll also find many public and private campgrounds and RV parks within one hour's drive of the park. And sledding is a blast! This one is worth visiting! Since we were planning on taking photos at both sunset and sunrise, this made it convenient to get the shots we wanted, and then have a shorter walk back to our tent. Gypsum is a mineral that technically dissolves in water, but since the area is so dry, bright white hills of tiny crystals formed. White sand dunes stretch as far as the eye can see at this unique desert in southern New Mexico. During the winter and occasionally throughout the year, the park may unexpectedly close due to unsafe road or extreme weather conditions. Since White Sands National Park is part the Chihuahuan Desert, the temperatures vary greatly both throughout the seasons and within a single day. There are plenty of options in nearby Alamogordo, 13 miles (24 km) from the monument and Las Cruces, 50 miles (84 km) from the park. White Sands Lodge and Camping, is situated directly at Popa Falls on the Okavango River. There are some beautiful places that fly under the radar. […] recommend trying to camp at least one night in White Sands National Park. I so want to go here, and camping seems like the perfect option. Love all of your photos! Start your journey at the Spanish Pueblo-style visitor center. Make sure you have stakes and a mallet to secure your tent. Were you able to get outside this we, For a complete guide to visiting White Sands National Park, read this post, a list of all of the hikes in White Sands National Park here, White Sands National Park: A Complete Guide, A Complete Guide to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, The Ultimate Arizona Bucket List: 101 Things To Do in the Grand Canyon State, 11 Best Barefoot Winter Boots: Waterproof, Warm, and Zero Drop, 7 Best Barefoot Shoes for Kids (Great for Exploring the Outdoors), The Best Winter Hiking Pants for Women: Water-resistant, breathable and comfortable, The Best Merino Wool T-Shirts for Hiking (and everyday), Backpacking Backpack: The easiest way to carry everything is in a backpacking backpack. The Camping and future Lodge are located on the banks of the Okavango River, surrounded by magnificent trees and shrubs. White Sands National Park preserves not only major portion of this unique dune field, but also the plants and animals that have successfully adapted to this constantly changing environment. Since most of the tests are conducted in the middle of the night or in the early morning, it means there is no camping allowed on the day of the test. You do have to carry everything in a mile, so you want to keep it light. Night is quiet and dark. However, there are many campgrounds, both public and private, within an easy drive of the park. One of our favorite things to do when we visit is a backcountry camp. Since you have to deal with closures due to missile testing or just random bad weather on top of the fact that there are only ten first-come, first-served campsites in White Sands National Park, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case you don’t get a campsite. Yucca in White Sands. Fortunately, we didn’t get any rain, but the wind howled through our tent all night. Hours of operation vary throughout the year. Zu ihnen zählt beispielsweise die Seifen-Palmlilie. We brought our, Mat: I originally thought we’d be pitching our tent on the soft sand, so a mat sounded kind of extra, but campsites are actually in the valleys of the dunes. See 3 traveler reviews, 7 photos and 1 blog post. Gypsum has a few cool properties, like the fact that it doesn’t absorb heat like typical sand. It’s so beautiful, it’s hard to believe it’s real even when you’re there. This place has been on my to go list for a while now! It can be extremely hot during the day with no shade (the record is 110°F), and drop more than 40°F at night. Camping […]. The backcountry trail is marked with small poles sticking up every so often. If you have any questions, please drop us a comment below. We are way overdue for a trip back to that side of the country and those white sands look stunning!! There are only ten permits available each day to camp out between the dunes, but the experience is unlike any other. The campsites are suitable for big/small tents as well as cars with roof tents, campers, caravans and Overlanders. We went in early September when the weather is still pretty warm but not terrible. The last place to fill up any water containers is the visitor center, so make sure you have enough with you when you enter White Sands. White Sands National Park offers the opportunity to backcountry camp among the glistening gypsum dunes and under the star-studded night sky. Camping at the White Sands National Monument is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We stayed in Las Cruces on the last night of our road trip since we were flying out of El Paso, and stayed at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Las Cruces, which we found clean and comfortable. This unique landscape in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico has created a micro desert. National parks, like White Sands National Park, are special places for all to enjoy now and into the future. Since White Sands National Park is part the Chihuahuan Desert, the temperatures vary greatly both throughout the seasons and within a single day. The only format of camping available at White Sands National Monument is hike-in, primitive camping. Explore responsibly and practice leave no trace principles so that we can preserve the natural beauty of this place for all to enjoy. ! Hi! Monument staff is usually notified about two weeks ahead of time, but there can be last minute tests where the Monument is only notified 24 hours ahead of time. As there is no way to guarantee that White Sands will be open on a particular day, we decided to create a little cushion in our trip so we could also camp either the day before or after we’d originally planned. White Sands are the world’s largest gypsum dune field, by far. Help keep the park and your visit safe by staying on the road and driving cautiously to avoid any rogue sledders. What to Do at White Sands National Park. Hi, I'm Kelly, one of the three travelers behind No Man Before. Camping in the white sands would be a dream come true – an exclusive travel experience. The camping fee for White Sands is only $3 per person per night for anyone 16 years and old, or $1.50 per night for anyone 15 or younger. He said that people get lost here pretty often, and they’ll have to send someone out to go find them. The true magic happens at sunrise and sunset when the soft golden light makes the gypsum crystal glow and it’s so quiet and still you feel like the only person around. The rest of the dunes are military land, often used for missile testing (don’t worry, the park closes down when there’s a scheduled missile launch). There is absolutely no shade once you’re out in the sand dunes, so things can heat up quickly. When we visited in September, it was calm during the day, but the winds started picking up in the early evening and came with pretty strong force during the night. The Leave No Trace principles provide a set of guidelines on how to dispose of waste, which you can read here. Roadrunners, foxes, and snakes all call the park home. If so, were they easily accessible from the camp sight? To get the most up-to-date information on closures (it’s not always posted online), call the Monument visitor center at (575) 479-6124. Welcome to Sands Caravan and Camping Park . I grew up in Arizona, but I've called California home for the last 10 years (minus one year in Cambridge, England). Der White-Sands-Nationalpark [ waɪt ˌsændz -] (deutsch Weißer Sand) ist ein rund 25 km südwestlich von Alamogordo (New Mexico) gelegenes Naturschutzgebiet vom Typ eines Nationalparks am nördlichen Ende der Chihuahua-Wüste. On clear nights the milky-way makes camping worth an effort! Ein einfacher Platz zum Campen steht im „Hinterland“ zur Verfügung, hier gilt: „Wer zuerst … In summer and winter, you’ll be dealing with hot and cold extremes, so you just need to be extra prepared for both. Looking for a place to stay? White Sands was established as a national monument in 1933 and re-desginated as a national park in 2019. Best National Park Camping – 2019 Campers Choice Awards America's Top National Parks for RV Camping. Yeah, literally 10 spots. And these are backcountry spots, which means you’ll be hiking to your campsite along a 2-mile loop among the gypsum dunes called the Backcountry Camping Trail. All 10 campsites are located along the 2 miles Backcountry Camping Loop. These photos are unreal! Those are rolling dunes of gypsum sand that cover 275 square miles. For over 20 years, thousands of young people have come to Sauble Beach and made White Sands their long weekend destination to party and let loose. 2 / 5. It did feel a little cool at night, but not freezing. And part of this may be because I haven’t spent a lot of time around snow, but keep in mind that you’ll likely be under the bright, shining sun with temps rising above 100°F in the middle of a summer day. Again, you’re going to be lugging all your stuff over at least a mile of soft white dunes, so pack smart. We also brought along a backup phone battery charger since there’s no place to charge your phone in the park. We hope you have a wonderful time camping in White Sands National Park! The camping fee for White Sands is only $3 per person per night for anyone 16 years and old, or $1.50 per night for anyone 15 or younger. Im Park selbst gibt es keinen Campingplatz, jedoch sind im Umkreis von 35 Meilen oder weniger drei öffentliche Campingplätze, vorhanden. Strong windstorms are common March through May, but it can be windy any day of the year. Check out this guide for tips on snagging one of the 10 backcountry camping spots. The National Park Pass is $80 per year. The most comfortable time to camp weather-wise is autumn (late September, early October) when daytime temperatures reach the 80s with light winds, and cooler evening temperatures are in the 50s. You can check the NPS website here to see the tests and Monument closure periods that are currently scheduled. In the park, both eating and sleeping options are limited, but the surrounding communities offer a variety of lodging and restaurant options. Learn how your comment data is processed. Plus high winds, rain, or lightning can be tough to deal with when you’re completely exposed to the elements. Gypsum has a couple of cool properties — it doesn’t absorb heat and it isn’t sticky like typical sand. Hello, and thanks for stopping by. Thanks for sharing all your tips! The hikes within the park do have trail markers, but there are miles and miles of dunes you can explore with no markers at all. White Sands National Park is an American national park in the southeastern region of the state of New Mexico. The dune fields cover about 275 square miles, and 115 square miles are located within White Sands National Park. There’s nothing better than hanging with your squad, playing outdoor games, hitting up the beach and dancing under the stars on a long weekend. You can only get your campsite for one day at a time, which means if you want to stay multiple nights, you’ll need to hike out from your campsite, drive the six miles back to the visitor center the next morning, and claim your spot again. So even with bright sun and 80F+ weather, the sand wasn’t too hot on our feet. As a safety precaution, drop a pin on Google maps to wherever you need to get back to, whether that’s a tent, parking lot or start of the trail. The Mighty 5: All the Camping in Utah’s National Parks. It is important that we minimize our impacts and leave as little evidence as possible of our visits to forests, parks, and other protected places. Just avoid heavy hiking boots that are totally unnecessary and will make you sink into the sand. Planning where you are going to sleep and what you are going to eat are two important steps in trip planning. Since we chose campsite 5, the furthest away from the parking lot, we had to hike our gear out about a mile. rusty7860...Driving thru White Sands National Monument New Mexico...very interesting!! For a complete guide to visiting White Sands National Park, read this post. Winter nights can get pretty cold, usually around 23°F (-5°C), so make sure to have a sleeping bag that can handle those freezing temperatures (like this one), warm socks, and lots of layers. We have Verizon and did not have phone service at most places in the park, though our GPS did work. The ones for this trail are orange with a spade on them, which you can see here. This place feels unreal, even when you’re there. Since the sand is shifting all the time, there’s not really a defined trail, you just have to look for the markers. These valleys are hard-packed, so it was at least as hard (if not harder) than sleeping on dirt. This is just an excellent post! GEO Reise-Newsletter . To fully experience White Sands National Park in southern New Mexico, go camping among the alabaster dunes. So beautiful pic and Awesome travel…….. Don’t count on tracing your footsteps back, because winds can easily erase them in the sand. Hey Laura! Spending a night beneath the clear starry sky of White Sands National Monument may be a very tempting prospect, but our primitive backcountry campsites are only available to those who don’t mind the one mile hike back to the sites. The next day was grey and cloudy til mid-day, which wasn’t great for photos (everything looked boring and flat). 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