Camp at White Sands National Monument

1.5 miles 40 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Lucas Pols

Camping under the stars with majestic wave-like dunes of gypsum creating contrasts and leading lines like no where else in the world.

Spend a night under the stars in one of the more beautiful places to take it all in. White Sands National Monument offers camping to “backpackers” who have the ability to hike out into the dunes to set up camp for an overnight adventure. The closest site will be .75 miles away while the farthest site is 1.1 miles away.

There are ten “camping sites” available on a first come first serve basis. They cannot do advanced reservations because of the possibility of the park closing due to missile tests at the adjacent military base. Permits are available until one hour before sunset and to obtain a permit you simply need to go to the front desk in the ranger station and ask!

Camping gives you the best way to photograph the dunes as well. Depending on the time of year you cannot catch the entire sunrise or sunset because of the park hours; if you camp you no longer have to worry about getting back to the gate before the ranger locks you in the for night. (They do not lock you in but they will call search and rescue if you are not back in time.)

Tips:
  • There is no water or toilet facility when you hike out onto the dunes, so make sure you fill up at the ranger station before you head out.
  • Fires are not permitted on the dunes, but self contained camping stoves are!
  • You need to follow the red markers that lead out deep into the dunes. Keep in mind that there are multiple backpacker trails and you need to follow the symbol on the trailhead you started at.
Read More

Tags

Fitness
Camping
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Speechless.

Unlike anything I’ve experienced. Such an amazing place.

Stay Nearby

Alamogordo, New Mexico

Alamogordo / White Sands Koa

Sunspot, New Mexico

Slide Group Area

Overview Just two miles from the village of Cloudcroft is this idyllic campground accommodating groups up to 90 visitors. Take advantage of the views of the Tularosa Basin or bask in the sun on the...

Cloudcroft, New Mexico

Black Bear Group Area

Overview Black Bear is perched atop the scenic Sacramento Mountains of south-central New Mexico, near Alamogordo and Cloudcroft. The site is surrounded by the aromatic pine trees and aspen groves o...

Cloudcroft, New Mexico

Upper Fir Group Area

Overview Upper Fir Group Area is one of the most popular campsites in the Sacramento Mountain area. Unique to its neighboring campgrounds, it's set far back from public roads, allowing for true pe...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike the Alkali Flat Loop

    From the US 70 pull into the White Sands Visitor Center. Then continue along Dunes Drive. Eventually, Dunes Drive turns into Loop Drive. At the end of this road, you will find the Alkali Flat trailhead.  One of the most beautiful and potentially d...

    4.9 miles 52 ft gain

  • Full Moon Hike at White Sands National Monument

    Started the hike at the Dune Life Nature trail parking area. Two rangers took us all on the trail . e walked up and down the dunes and some flat areas. We started out at sunset and the views of the sunset were beautiful. 30 minutes later we walked...

    1.8 miles

  • Explore White Sands National Monument

    The White Sands National Monument is one of the most surreal locations in the southwest. Located just north of Las Cruces, NM, White Sands is about a 45 minute drive from the city of Las Cruces. To access the park from any location, you'll take Ro...

  • Hike Alamo Canyon Loop Trail

    Alamo Canyon Loop trail is a 6.6 miles loop  in the Lincoln National Forest. It is best to start the trail from the junction of TR 107 Roundup Ground trail and hike counter clock wise. There are spectacular views of the canyon and the Sacramento M...

    -6.6 miles 1205 ft gain