White Sands National Park: a place that had been on my bucket list; a site I had waved at from a distance while passing by with no time to stop. In early June, 2018, I checked it off my list. We even borrowed a friend's sled and brought it with us because you can sled at White Sands!
It was a race against time to arrive at the park before it closed and I was a little worried we wouldn't make it. One unique aspect of this particular park is that it shares space with White Sands Missile Range, and during testing, they can close the area with only 24 hours notice. Lucky for us, we were able to get through without much issue, and arrived just as the sun was setting. The colors were absolutely magical; simply breathtaking.
The next morning, we headed back and took in those classic startling white and deep blue colors. I had read about waxing sleds to make them incredibly fast, but I shrugged that off as necessary only for the overused ones you can rent from the visitor's center. My friends, that was a bad assumption. Wax your sleds. The one we took went literally nowhere. To make matters worse, my daughter's determination in pulling her brother resulted in not only a broken rope on a borrowed sled, but painful rope burn on her hands.
Hey look! I made it into a couple pictures. My husband gets all the photo credit for those. Yes, I wore a big, floppy white hat and it's important to note that the sun reflects off the sand, so don't forget your sunglasses.
Remember that really purple sunset picture from above; the solo shot at the end? The picture below is the same view, but during the day. Crazy, right?
We enjoyed the visitor center, and the barn swallows that nest around the building were an unexpected treat. I found a magnet for my National Park magnet collection and purchased a fantastic Audubon book, "The Practical Naturalist."
Know before you go:
*Be aware of the surrounding area and potential closures
*Book 2 nights to be able to see the park during sunrise, daytime and sunset.
*Rent a sled at the visitors center instead of bringing your own and pay extra to get wax.
*Know that a White Sands Missile Range Museum exists.
Also, if you enjoyed these images, please know that I do sell some of my landscape work and you may find available images below in my store: