White Sands National Monument Hiking Trail Guide


White Sands National Monument Hiking Trail Guide

The wave-like dunes of gypsum sand which cover roughly 275 square miles of desert represent the world's largest gypsum dunefield, much of which is protected by the White Sands National Monument. Hiking in White Sands is an experience unto itself given its majestic appearance and non-traditional trail system of just five established trails (much of which is marked only by posts in the sand). Trails vary in terms of difficulty, scenery and potential for wildlife and flora viewing. Advanced planning is recommended, be sure to consult with the rangers at the Visitor Center, and keep an eye on temperatures as desert hiking can quickly lead to a dangerous situation. Click on any of the trails below for more information!

Hikes in White Sands National Monument

Hikes in White Sands National Monument

White Sands N.M. is fairly undeveloped. The silky gypsum dunes may cover  275 square miles of New Mexico's desert, but only 5 established trails have been developed in the monument. Click on any hike below for a full trail guide with integrated plant and wildlife guides. 

Playa Trail (WSNM)

Playa Trail is a very easy kid friendly hike in White Sands National Monument near Las Cruces.

Interdune Boardwalk (WSNM)

Interdune Boardwalk is a very easy ADA accessible hike in White Sands National Monument near Las Cruces.

Dune Life Nature Trail (WSNM)

Dune Life Nature Trail is a very easy kid friendly hike in White Sands National Monument near Las Cruces.

White Sands Backcountry Trail

White Sands Backcountry Trail is an easy kid friendly hike in White Sands National Monument near Las Cruces.

Alkali Flat Trail

Alkali Flat Trail is a moderate hike in White Sands National Monument near Las Cruces.