|Driving in White Sands|
The white sand here is considered one of the world’s natural wonders. You can walk on it (even barefoot if you want), slide on it, camp on it, hike on it or bicycle on it.
The white sand is actually salt gypsum crystal, but from a distance you’d be hard pressed to differentiate it from snow. The gypsum comes from the nearby San Andres and Sacramento mountains. Rain dissolves the gypsum and carries it to the Tularoso Basin where it dries out and becomes sand. Thanks to the wind, it then forms into dunes.
The monument is located in southern New Mexico, about 16 miles southwest of Alamagordo. The white sands have starred in a few monies, including Hang ‘em High and Young Guns II.
During World War II, White Sands was used as a missile testing site. Testing continues today. The National Park Service warns hikers they might come across active missiles, which should not be disturbed. At times the monument is closed when missiles are being tested.
Otherwise the monument is open daily except for Christmas Day.