Alkali Flat Trail [CLOSED]

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White Sands National Park

Alkali Flat Trail is a 4.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Alamogordo, New Mexico that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.9 miles Elevation Gain: 52 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

closed

off trail

no shade

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information.

hiking
2 months ago

Very magical hike especially when you're alone. Trail markers a visible throughout the hike. Obviously there is no shade or water so be prepared.

hiking
no shade
off trail
2 months ago

Beautiful trail. Wonderful way to see White Sands. Expect to be alone on part of the hike. The day was incredibly windy, and I wondered if the trail posts ever get covered up by sand. The posts did not include mile markers, and I wished they had. Some of the dunes were very steep, and I had to find another way around to the posts which wasn't too difficult. I'm pretty sure the sign at the trailhead said 5 miles, but my phone app recorded it as 5.7 miles, perhaps because of the detours I had to take. I would say that if you get tired before the halfway point, do turn back. The scenery, while spectacular, doesn't change much. The halfway point is a bit of a downer b/c there is a warning sign about unexploded missiles in the area. I wore lightweight quick dry pants, a ballcap, and a hoodie, and it was a perfect combo against the fierce wind. The temperature was in the 50s but felt ten degrees warmer. I was very comfortable. Definitely glad I wore sunglasses and sunscreen. In much warmer weather, I think I might have found this hike unpleasant. Make sure you carry plenty of water and your phone. WiFi service was mostly out for much of the way, but there were times I had service.

hiking
2 months ago

A truly unique and memorable hike. The trail is pretty easy to follow because of the footprints of others and the frequent trail marking signs. We wore chacos and loved the up and down of the dunes. At the halfway point of the loop the dunes level out and you have gorgeous views of the San Andres mountains. This entire hike has spectacular 360 degree views. White Sands is a magical place and this hike is an absolute must for any avid hiker!

3 months ago

Incredible environment. Definitely try this trail out even if its for a miles. it's breath taking.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful sandy hike. There are lots of steep dunes to go up/down. They are not huge in height but can require some effort. This hike is a good way to see many of the White Sand dunes.

no shade
3 months ago

Surreal environment, you must experience it. Bring lots of water and follow the stakes in the ground that mark the trail. it's quite easy to get lost out there

hiking
no shade
scramble
3 months ago

I definitely think the word “flat” is a bit misleading, because some of those dunes are intense! But this was a beautiful way to experience the scenery of White Sands without being fearful of getting lost in the desert.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This was very nice. Highly recommend. Feels like your in the desert outside the US. I went early morning to avoid the heat and crowds - great decision. Although the park opened later than expected because of missile launching. BRING WATER AND SUNSCREEN!

hiking
fee
no shade
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Very unique hike. Entire route is across sand dunes or rather gypsum dunes and incredibly beautiful landscape views. Unlike sand it doesn’t get hot to the touch nor does it stick to you the same - but it is fairly dry and abrasive. And very fine grains that will get into your socks, creases and even pockets. Some people hiked barefoot and you can definitely do that comfortably on the hike but you may end up with dry cracking skin. I wore sandals and my wife had hiking shoes and I think she made the better choice. Sunscreen is a must, the sand reflects the light in every direction. We were there in early February and the combination of sun and fine wind borne sand particles was chafing. I definitely recommend this hike none quite like it. Well marked, just keep an eye out for the red stakes - you can usually see two or three ahead of you.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Pure white sand the whole time. Took us a little over 2 hrs with dogs and stopping to take pictures.

hiking
3 months ago

Unique. Worthwhile. Beautiful. Well marked. Took us 2:40 but we take time to look around and take a lot of photos.

hiking
3 months ago

dont bother wearing shoes. view is better if you do the full loop

hiking
4 months ago

nice trail to the end of the dunes. Walk on the outside of the main path as it is harder sand

hiking
fee
no shade
4 months ago

Great trail within the White Sands National Park. I did this in early January and it was still hot after an hour out on the trail. Water is an absolute must. Could be moderate or hard depending on the day and how you approach it. A few of the dunes were pretty severe on the day I went, I went straight up the first couple like that I got to, but was being more strategic with my route choice at the end. Would recommend, but not to be taken too casually.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail, unique. I’d say you want to walk it clockwise.

hiking
4 months ago

I did this trail at the end of December in 2019. Being winter, weather was cold and I was lucky to have a full sun as well. Just follow the orange sign posts; they are hard to miss. Lookout for footprints of fox and rats while hiking, pretty cool stuff. The visitor center has them.

hiking
fee
no shade
off trail
4 months ago

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

what a fun place! we went in december which I think was perfect. I can't imagine how hot it would be in the summer. I was ill with a head cold so physically could not do this whole trail. we did about 1.5 miles and then turned around. it's easier if you sort of leap down the dunes haha. I wanted to get some photography without footprints in the sand and was able to get some views once got past the crowds. (and yes I know leaping down the dunes made footprints). if I was feeling well, I definitely would have done the whole trail and loved it. wear a HAT though- sun is beating on you and there is no escape!

hiking
4 months ago

What makes this trail nice is if you go out more than a mile out on this trail, there’s a good chance you’ll be the only people within eyeshot for at least brief periods of time.

hiking
no shade
5 months ago

hiking
no shade
off trail
5 months ago

Sign at the western tip of the trail warns not to go further (offtrail beyond the dune line) due to unexploded ordnances. Its in the photos people have uploaded. Otherwise beautiful terrain, and surprisingly easy to walk on, maybe because of the cold weather.

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