White Sands National Monument is located in the middle of the White Sands Missile Test Center, so it is occasionally closed. Luckily that does not happen too often, and I was able to stop by on my way out of Alamogordo, heading west to Phoenix.
The temperatures were down to 32 last night, so even though it looks sunny in these photos, it was still very chilly when I was there at about 10:00 am. By the time I got done at the visitor's center, it had warmed up to almost 50, so I changed into shorts and a sweatshirt to climb one small dune to take some photos.
The visitor center is not on the dunes, so you have to drive a couple of miles.
Because it was Sunday, there were a lot of families out hiking and sledding. You can bring sleds or rent them at the visitor center.
I liked the patterns in the side of one dune along the roadway.
The next few photos were taken from the small dune I climbed up so I could get a better view. If it had been warmer and I had had more time, I would have done some barefoot hiking! The gypsum "sand" is the same stuff they make drywall out of so it is powdery and very soft to walk in.
On the way out, I saw several horse trailers and people getting ready for riding. There were 5-6 trailers full of horses here, and more waiting in line to get in at the park entrance booth.
And here is a video I took of the dunes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGYtsUdi1sU&feature=youtu.be.
These photos were taken on my way to the interstate. New Mexico certainly is a pretty state!