Summer Sled at White Sands National Monument

Sledding at White Sands National Monument

Thanks to our two friends who recommended the White Sands National Monument, we could sled in our summer road trip three years ago. Summer! Not winter. And it’s on gypsum, not sand! “What?” you might wonder.

Summer Sled at White Sands National Monument

It’s late in the afternoon when we arrived at the White Sands National Monument Visitor Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico. In about half hour, the Sunset Stroll was about to begin. After reading the program’s brochure, we decided to join in to learn about the white sands and enjoy the sunset at the end.

But first, we went to gift shop to rent the waxed snow-saucer for sledding. When my husband walked to the back part, he found used ones that were for sale. He bought one and we’re ready to sled and explore!

White Sands National Monument - before Sunset Stroll.


The Sand is Gypsum!

Wherever we turned and looked around, it’s all white all the way to the horizon. The brilliant white sands in the park are not like sands on the white sandy beaches. White Sands National Monument was made of about 98 percent pure gypsum sand. It is a common mineral that is used in a variety of products like drywall for your house or toothpaste in your bathroom. Besides rarely found in sand form, it’s even rarer to find gypsum sand in the form of dunes, making this 275-square mile dune fields a one-of-a-kind natural wonder.

Sand ripples - White Sands National Monument


White Sands National Monument Guided Tour

We joined the Sunset Stroll, which was a leisurely, ranger-guided stroll through the gypsum sand dunes. It didn’t require much of climbing, approximately one mile (1.6 km), and took about 45 minutes to one hour.

I remember our ranger was a rookie, but he explained the uniqueness of the geology, plants, and animals of the area well. And without we knew it, we’re already at the end of the stroll. When I looked to the horizon, the sun was almost set and he reminded us to stay on path when we’re scattered around to enjoy the sunset.

We picked one dune where we could see the road from the top and had fun sledding; laughing, screaming, back and forth until we couldn’t see the light at the horizon anymore. The sand felt cool to the touch and yes, we made sand angel, too. It was really awesome and the sunset itself was fantastic.

Making snow angel at White Sands National Monument


Sunset at White Sands National Monument

The next morning our son begged to go back to the park for more fun. Of course we couldn’t say no because we wanted to sled again, too. But first, we stopped at the Interdune Boardwalk to learn more about the park’s visitors and found several animal tracks around it; nocturnal animals or morning animals?

Then we drove to amphitheater and sled and played in the sand for a couple of hours. What a fun and memorable morning!

When it’s time to leave, we didn’t have to worry about the sands sticking on our body. All we needed to do was just shake it before we climbed to the car and left for the next destination with excitement.

Thank you again to our two friends who recommended this park to us.

Our family at White Sands National Monument


Tips when visiting White Sands National Monument

– Read and follow the safety rules of the park. Don’t underestimate the safety rules and overestimate yourself.

– Programs may be canceled due to weather or missile range activities.

– Use your America the Beautiful National Park pass. Or, $5 for adults (ages 16 and older) and free for children (ages 15 and younger).

– Lots of hotels and restaurants to choose from that fit your budget in Alamogordo.


Address: Highway US-70 between the cities of Alamogordo and Las Cruces. The entrance to the monument can be found between mile 199 and 200.


Visited: June 2014.


Summer Sled at White Sands National Monument - Pinterest - Two Worlds Treasures

[wpdevart_forms id=”1″ ]

Don't forget to share
CommentLuv badge


  1. Marta says:

    How fun! Sledding in warm weather sounds perfect 🙂 my kids would love this!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      They will love it! And you, too for sure!

  2. Stacey says:

    We hope to go to New Mexico someday. This looks like a lot of fun. I think my daughter would really have a good time. Oh, who am I kidding? My husband and I would have a great time, too!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Hope you will make it. New Mexico is our new love, after Colorado. There are so much places that we have to discover yet. I’m sure you and your husband will have a great time at White Sands NM.

  3. Tara says:

    This looks like another place to visit while in New Mexico! I love the summertime sledding!!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Yes, it is! The next summer we did summertime sledding at the Great Sand Dune.

  4. This sand almost looked like snow! I would love to sled in the warm, beautiful sand. Looks like your family had a blast 🙂

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      We did have a blast! But the sand was actually cool to the touch.

  5. that is super cool! I would love this! I love the idea of sledding but I hate the snow, so this would be perfect for me!
    Harmony, Momma To Go recently posted…Fall Round UpMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I guess we actually can sled anytime of the season in the country.

  6. Katherine says:

    What a fun post! I didn’t know that there was such a thing as gypsom sand (or that it’s in toothpaste) so we all learned something! Meanwhile, I really want to try sledding down those dunes!
    Katherine recently posted…Advocating for change in your expat countryMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I don’t mind to go back and repeat the fun sledding down the dunes.

  7. This is on my travel itinerary for next summer, thanks for the tips!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      You are welcome!

  8. This is so different and looks like a ton of fun. I had no idea that this existed in the States. I will need to check it out.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Actually, there’s also one in Texas and a few others in different states.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *