White Sands National Monument
Located roughly 45 miles east of Las Cruces on U.S. Highway 70
White Sands National Monument protects the world’s largest gypsum dune-field, and the unique plants and animals that survive in this other-worldly place. Between White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base, the magnificent pure white dunes provide excellent recreation opportunities; visitors can picnic, “white sand surf” or just stroll through a portion of the 275 square-mile national monument. Additionally, the monument offers tours and activities such as the Sunset Stroll Nature Walk, full moon night programs, special events, and tours of Lake Lucero.
Fort Selden State Monument
Located 15 miles north of Las Cruces on either Interstate 25 or Highway 185
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. six days a week (closed Tuesdays)
Admission $3 per person
Fort Selden was built in 1865 by the United States Army to protect the settlers of the valley from desperados and Apache Indians. The fort was also the original home of the Buffalo Soldiers. Annual events include Frontier Days in the spring. This weekend-long event pays tribute to the fort’s past by recreating soldiers’ life on the post.