The White Sands of White Sands NM

White Sands NM

As I stated previously, we are seeing a lot of national monuments these days because there are a lot of them here in the Southwest. Most have to do with Native Americans having been here and feature hundreds-of-years-old remnants of their time in a particular place. But not this national monument. White Sands NM has nothing to do with former tribal locations, rather it features a very cool natural wonder — glistening wave-like dunes of gypsum sand covering some 275 square miles of desert here in southern New Mexico.

I could get into a long scientific explanation of what created this rare form of sand, but I’ll just summarize that gypsum in the mountains, carried down to a basin with the rains, then blown and broken up into small sand-sized pieces is what forms these brilliantly white dunes. They’re spectacular and really other-worldly! Have a look at what we enjoyed at White Sands National Monument.

The dune front at White Sands NM
The front edge of the dunes at White Sands NM
White Sands NM
Hiking along the 4.5-mile Alkali Flat Trail — talk about a unique hike!
White Sands NM
Footprints in the shifting white sands
White Sands NM
Wind patterns in the pristine dunes

2 thoughts on “The White Sands of White Sands NM”

    1. Hi Frank — It’s nice to see you checking in from time to time. Yes, indeed, the first atomic bomb was tested here, as well; at the Trinity Site which is now part of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. A couple of weeks before being in Alamogordo we had gone up to Los Alamos and visited the Bradbury Science Center, so we got the history lesson about all that went on there in the 1940s (and continues through present day) and in the nearby missile testing facilities. White Sands Missile Range here in Alamogordo hosts the famed Trinity Site. The National Park Service is in the process of turning three different facilities/areas into a national park unit.

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