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If your family is looking for a unique and exciting family destination to explore, look no further than White Sands National Park in New Mexico. This national park is home to the world’s largest gypsum dune field, covering 275 square miles of desert with sparkling white sands. This is the family destination to choose if you are you’re looking for an adventure and something that is unlike anything else you have ever seen! White Sands National Park is special for everyone in the family. If you have never been to White Sands National Park here are a few tips that we have learned, and whether you are RVers or just checking this off your bucket-list, hopefully this helps for exploring White Sands National park with your family.
White Sands offers a wide range of activities to keep your family entertained during your visit.
Hiking through the dunes is one of the most popular activities here, as it gives visitors a chance to experience the beauty and tranquility of this natural wonder of the dunes up close.
If you’d rather stay off your feet, you can also take a scenic drive along the 8-mile Dunes Drive through the National Park. This loop takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of the park, including Alkali Flat and Lake Lucero. Make sure that the kids keep an eye out for wildlife like roadrunners, jackrabbits, and lizards as you drive through!
The visitor center at White Sands National Park provides educational programs and ranger-led tours. These are great ways to learn more about the history and ecology of this unique landscape while having some fun with your family. The visitor center at White Sands National Park has minimal parking for large RVs and trailers; overflow large vehicle parking is available in the Administrative Building parking lot.
Last but certainly not least, a must do with the family while at White Sands National Park is sledding down the dunes. The kids could have spent all day climbing up and sledding down the dunes.
We stayed in Alamogordo, New Mexico at the KOA with the RV and we really loved the convenience of this location as it is only about 17 miles to the National Park. Close to a Grocery Store (Albertsons), a great post office for shipping hats, but also, they loan you out free sleds to use and return after you visit the park!! Not having to buy sleds from a store or the visitor center is very convenient.
Plan for at least two days for the National Park so that you can see a sunset at the park and enjoy a morning or afternoon playing and exploring with the family. The first evening we drove to the National Park with just the truck and enjoyed the cooler, late afternoon and sunset at the national park. The kids played football, read books in the sand and sled up and down the dunes. We had a picnic dinner as the sunset went down. 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.
Day two we pulled the RV into the National Park so we could spend the day there. Got to the National Park with the family right at opening and then found a nice spot to park the rig. Went into the rig to use the restroom and enjoyed lunch views out the window.
If you don’t have a National Parks Pass, and you intend on going to the park more than once during your visit, or you plan on visiting more national parks this year, buy this pass. The National Parks Pass will pay for itself very quickly with a family visiting and exploring White Sands National park.
Pack snacks, a picnic lunch and lots of water to stay hydrated. There are restrooms and cute little picnic areas with tables throughout the park. No matter how warm it is outside, 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 keep your shoes on or wear your socks so your toes don’t feel frozen!
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.
From its breathtaking gypsum dune fields to its diverse wildlife, White Sands National Park is truly a one-of-a-kind family destination that will leave lasting memories on your family trip. So what are you waiting for? Pack those bags and head out on an adventure family adventure exploring White Sands National park today!