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Wow. What a great start to the kids’ “spring break”. Ever since we first visited White Sands National Park in March of 2020, only weeks before Covid-19 began to shut down the world, our kids have been begging to go back!
So we knew we had to make a stop here again this year on our way to Arizona. Originally we were going to spend just one day there, but when the weather looked chilly (59 degrees 😊) we decided to stay 2 additional days and go see the park multiple times and at different times of the day. Morning, afternoon, and sunset, and a little warmer temperatures.
It did not disappoint. If you have never been to White Sands National Park here are a few tips that we have learned, and whether you are RV’ers or just Tourists in general, hopefully this helps for your trip to see a truly incredible National Park.
We have stayed in Alamogordo, New Mexico at the KOA twice and we really love the convenience of this location. Close to a Grocery Store (Albertsons) and a great post office for shipping hats, but also, they loan you out free sleds to use and return after you visit the park!! Seriously so helpful and the kids could have spent all day climbing up and sledding down the dunes. This KOA is only about 17 miles to the National Park and a super easy drive.
If you don’t have a National Parks Pass, and you intend on going to the park more than once, or you plan on visiting more national parks this year, buy this pass. It will pay for itself very quickly.
Pack snacks, a picnic lunch and lots of water to stay hydrated, and plan to spend some time there. We brought a blanket and had snacks the first two days, but the second day we brought our RV and ate lunch there. There are restrooms and cute little picnic areas with tables throughout the park.
Even though the temperature was only in the 60’s, the sun is hot, so pack sunscreen, Chapstick (it gets breezy out there so protect those lips!) and of course a hat… I recommend a cute b.e.happe Puff Stitch Slouch or Simple Slouch hat 😉.
The sand is made from gypsum, and it stays very cold… the complete opposite of what you would expect… so it’s a good idea to probably just keep your shoes on or wear your socks so your toes don’t feel frozen!
Lastly, if you can stay for Sunset… do it!! The views are amazing. Behind you to the East are the Sacramento Mountains and the sun sets over the San Andres Mountain range. Both mountain ranges battle back and forth like it is a competition…throwing punches of amazing colors of oranges and pinks and purples, simply stunning.
If you have time another day, head up the mountain behind the KOA to a cute little town called Cloudcroft, and stop in at the Cloudcroft Brewery for pizza and beer. The views while heading up the mountain are gorgeous, with great places to pull over and take in the scenery and experience.
New Mexico has unexpectedly stunned us the last two years and White Sands especially will always be a special memory for our kids. We will be back, and we hope you take a trip to see it for yourself.