Explore the most popular hiking trails in White Sands National Monument with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 month ago

We were here in Oct., and the weather was perfect - partly sunny, light breezes and 75-80 temp at midday. We were a little short on time, so only hiked out about 1 mile and then returned. I wanted to get past all the mounds with footprints, for good pictures, and found that in spades! We returned over some dunes that weren't directly on the trail, but in the general direction of the trailhead, and that was neat to be the only ones you could see for quite aways. In the distance we hiked, it was easy to navigate. Very easy to hike barefoot, and this is preferred, especially in the looser sand of the dunes.

on Big Dune Loop

2 months ago

This place is one of the prettiest places I have seen, I also recommend going at sunset. I have seen some amazing images taken at night too, plan to camp the next time we visit.

A easy hike in the white sands. Very beautiful. Remember to take a sunglass as the white sands reflect the sunlight strongly.

We really lucked out with just the right conditions to hike this trail. Recent rain had packed the sand making it easier to climb the dunes. It also cooled it off into the mid 80’s which seems quite unusual for July. We hiked later in the evening and arrived at the flats just before sunset. We climbed one of the last dunes, spread out a blanket, and enjoyed the sunset over the mountains and flats. After sunset, The was still plenty of residual light to make the trip back. My shoes kept filling with sand so I opted for walking this one barefoot. The damp sand was cool and quite pleasant on the feet.

Beautiful! Well marked.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail. Great for spotting animal tracks early in the morning. Pet friendly, Easy . Cottonwood trees on trail for shade

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is wonderfully challenging and very picturesque. It was very overcast this morning and breezy but still quite toasty. Definitely bring plenty of water. Trail markers are frequent and I did not find an issue with finding my way. I used my hiking poles and they were very helpful in areas where the sand was difficult to trudge through. I'm definitely going to do this one again!

hiking
4 months ago

It gets hot during the summer months!!

Neat trail through the dunes. Trail is dog friendly and the gypsum sand is cool even during the heat of the day. Mostly open, but with a few shady spots to rest.

Easy quick walk along a boardwalk through the dunes. Informational signs and dog friendly.

hiking
5 months ago

March is a good time of year to explore, as it isn't too hot yet and there aren't many people. Had a good time hiking through the dunes, just make sure to keep an eye on the trail markers.

hiking
5 months ago

Surreal hike through gypsum sand dunes. Extremely picturesque. We started at either 8 or 9a and finished it in about 3hrs. It's a really expose hike so wear sunblock and long sleeves if you can. It was pretty windy so it didn't feel too hot. But once the wind dies down it gets hot real quick. Bring lots of water and you'll be fine.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice hike, climbing up and down the soft sand dunes is like doing stair masters.
Don't forget sun lotion, water and good sunglasses.
Recommend to do it a dusk or dawn.

I just did this today and it was unreal. Definitely get there right when they open 1) not as hot and 2) you have a bit more solitude. Around 10 mins into the hike I realized that I could take my shoes off and jeez it made things a ton easier and way more comfortable. I brought like a half gallon of water and didn't even touch it until after the halfway point, however I don't think I would've brought any less considering how hot the sun got towards the end. Really makes you feel like you're the only one out in the desert, don't let the short distance fool you.

on Big Dune Loop

hiking
6 months ago

Stunning photo ops! Recommend going for sun rise or sun set.

hiking
6 months ago

This was our favorite trail at White Sands. Some incline, but pretty easy. The gypsum is easier to walk on than regular sand.

hiking
6 months ago

Very easy & accessible. Boardwalk all the way out & back. Some information boards. It's a beautiful place.

Nice introduction to the sand dunes, quick and easy.

Do not attempt this trail when the temperature is above 70°, ...you will melt! Take plenty of water and sunscreen.

For what it is, this is a cool trail. Very, very easy. There are educational signs along the way and once you learn what the different tracks in the sand are from, it's fun to search for them with kids. I took my 4 year old and she had fun. Words of warning - the boards are slick, so be careful if you have questionable tread on your shoes, and avoid using the hand rails as much as possible due to static electricity build up.

7 months ago

Beautiful hike, feels like you're on the moon... recommend taking some Gatorade or something similar to get you through it. Sun reflecting from all angles can take its toll on you. Lots of sunscreen!

Nice hike, but not the best of the park

hiking
7 months ago

We did a ‘baby equilateral triangle’, went in for about only 5 markers, then cut across to the other side of the trail, and walked out, for a total of 1.5 miles. Worked great with children. With a lot of exploration on the way, took about 1 hour. Saw a bleached earless lizard. The sand just beneath north slopes was very cool despite the air temperature being well above 80s.

hiking
8 months ago

Cool trail, nice views especially at the flats past the dunes. Sunset was pretty too

hiking
8 months ago

Had a blast with this hike - definitely one of the more unique ones in the area. Not too difficult, by any means, but bear in mind you are walking up/down sand dunes. Going up will take a bit more effort, with some backward progress. Trail is surprisingly well-marked, given that these are shifting dunes. Make sure you bring sunglasses (the sand is bright white and reflects the sun) and water/chapstick for the dry air. Believe you can rent snow sleds in the front office as well, if you want to sled the dunes - tons of fun!

hiking
8 months ago

Didn’t seem worth the effort. Felt like I could have gotten as much from a scenery perspective by hiking in a half mile and back out. The scenery just doesn’t change much. No wow moment for us.

This is a great walk. Very impressed with how well marked it is given the constantly shifting dunes. The sand from the far side of the dunes is surprisingly whiter than near the parking loop. Bring some back from the farthest parts of your hike and compare. I recommend walking clockwise to get the more strenuous part at the beginning of the walk but it’s fine either way.

Great easy hike with my new puppy! She loved playing in the sand and running with me. It's also very pleasant in the winter due to no people being around!

hiking
10 months ago

This place is a MUST GO. The gypsum sand is beautiful and the park is so open, vast and you just get this sense of freedom. We pulled off on a side parking spot and headed out with our dogs and just found our own little spot. The dogs absolutely loved the sand and watching them run around without a care in the world gives ya a good feeling. The sky touches the sand and you can see the mountains in the far background. Absolutely breathtaking. This is by far one of my favorite parks and I’m so glad we took the time to spend a couple hours there.

beautiful hike and beautiful scenery. saw a rabbit in the distance otherwise not much wildlife. and not a particularly difficult or diverse hike. but the views make it unique and memorable. this particular trail gets you away from the crowds at the park (tourists, sledding and photog'ing) and offers off-trail opps with virgin sands and unblemished views. will remember it vividly.

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