Enjoy a leisurely one-hour ranger-guided walk through sand dunes and learn about the geology, plants, and animals of this unique area. Program starts at the sign along Dunes Drive about five miles from the visitor center. Programs are offered daily. Program is free; monument entrance fees apply.**
*5:00 pm February 20 – March 12
*6:15 pm March 13 – April 1
Step into the Past
More than just flowers: Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Chihuahuan Desert
More than just colorful flowers, humans have relied on many of the wild edible and medicinal plants of the Chihuahuan Desert for survival through the centuries. Join rangers in the visitor center native plant garden for a one-hour tour of the garden. Learn about the plants that provided food, shelter, and medicine long before food markets, hardware stores, and pharmacies were common place. Participants will be provided a field guide and encouraged to take photos, draw pictures, and ask questions! Program is limited to 20 participants. Reservations are required and can be made at www.nps.gov/whsa. Program is free
*Reservations open: 8 am Friday, February 5
*Program: 10 am Saturday, March 5
Bring your camera and capture the early morning light on the dunes. Join a ranger for this early morning program focused on amateur sunrise photography. Reservations are required and can only be made on our website (www.nps.gov/whsa). Hike is limited to 20 participants. Special fees apply. $8.00 per person 16 and older. $4.00 per person 15 and younger. If you choose to explore Dunes Drive after the program, monument entrance fees will apply.**
*Reservations open: 8 am Friday, February 19
*Program: 6 am Saturday, March 19
Lake Lucero Tour
Have you ever wondered how the white sands formed? Take a tour to Lake Lucero with a ranger and learn about the formation of the sands and the special plants and animals that live in and around the dunes. Program fee: $8.00 per adult (16 years and older), $4.00 for children (15 years and younger) All Lake Lucero tour reservations must be made through our website www.nps.gov/whsa.
*Reservations open: 8 am Friday, February 26
*Program: 9 am Saturday, March 26
Full Moon Bike Rides
Take a leisurely bike ride through the monument under the light of the full moon. Reservations are required and can only be made via our website (www.nps.gov/whsa). Special fees apply. $8.00 per person 16 and older. $4.00 per person 15 and younger. Monument entrance fees also apply.**Special rules also apply. See website for complete details. Dress warmly as the temperature drops quickly at night.
*Reservations open: 8 am Tuesday, March 22
*Program: 8 pm Friday, April 22
Skins and Skulls
Join a ranger in the visitor center courtyard for a 20-minute talk about the amazing animals of White Sands. Rangers will have pelts, skulls, and other props to provide you an up-close look and feel of the elusive wildlife of White Sands. Program is free.
*3 pm Saturday & Sunday
Have you ever wondered where all this gypsum came from? Or how animals survive in this harsh environment? Join a ranger under the tent on the Innerdune Boardwalk for a 20-minute program that highlights some of the lesser-known stories about White Sands National Monument. Monument entrance fees apply; program is free.
*11 am Saturday & Sunday
Visitor Center Hours:
January 4 – March 12
9 am – 5 pm
March 13 – May 15
9 am – 6 pm
February 21 – March 12
7 am – 7 pm
March 13 – April 23
7 am – 8 pm
Dunes Drive will close to inbound traffic one hour before the monument closes. The Highway 70 Gate and restrooms will close at the stated monument closing time.
Schedule is subject to change. Activities may be cancelled due to weather or missile range activities. Visit www.nps.gov/whsa for more information. **Monument entrance fees are $5.00 per person anyone 16-years and older; children 15-years old and under are free.