White Sands Backcountry Trail

EASY 81 reviews

White Sands Backcountry Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Alamogordo, New Mexico and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 6 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

no shade

If you are just walking the loose sand and climbing up and down, the route is not too bad but in a backpack it can be tough. The dunes are surreal looking and very fun to sled on. There is no shade so plan accordingly.

It’s White Sands....what’s not spectacular about any hike you do here? This one was very secluded and had amazing views of the dunes and plants and the distant mountains. Fantastic hike.

hiking
fee
17 days ago

Great easy loop. Some hills to get your heart rate going but not a problem. The views were great! Kids went on the sleds at the beginning of the trail then stored them for the hike. Didn’t do any of the off shoots but kind of wish we did one now since it was a shorter hike. Drove the rest of the road to the back of the park. Plenty of places to stop and sled.

hiking
no shade
20 days ago

This is a really pretty trail that I would definitely recommend if you only have a few hours in the park to explore. It is easy enough for a novice hiker in average shape, in my opinion, so long as you are comfortable climbing up/down sand dunes. Just look for the orange sticks with the spades to stay on the "trail." It took us about an hour to finish, and we stopped to take pictures a lot. We started walking around 8:30 am and there was hardly anyone out there - much different than the late afternoon/evening hours (we stopped by at sunset the night before, and the park was slammed). Wear sunscreen. It was 28 degrees when we started our walk and we still got a little burned!

no shade
2 months ago

I gave it 4 stars because you can see how on a quiet day, this could be a lovely trail. theres more vegetation in the lower dunes areas, blooming yuccas and such, than on other trails. but this area gets so busy, so fast and you have to listen to kids screaming as they slide down the dunes. I'd avoid it and go do at least a portion of Alkiline Flats if you see more than 2 cars here.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful at sunset. Follow the orange posts in the sand.

Gets very hot, bring more than one water bottle like i failed to do

hiking
8 months ago

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hiking
11 months ago

We visited on the 1st day the park reopened after government shutdown 2018-2019. It was a free entry day. The trail was clearly marked. I never realized just how beautiful a vast expanse of white sand could be. Especially against the San Andreas mountain range. The views are truly 360. definiately not to be missed. Would recommend, and return.

hiking
Sat Jan 05 2019

great WhSa trail, rangers are friendly and informed, can not wait for them to open after the shutdown

hiking
Fri Aug 10 2018

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

hiking
Tue Apr 10 2018

Nice hike, but not the best of the park

hiking
Tue Nov 14 2017

Great place to take your dog and let them run around. Also beautiful sunsets and you can ride sleds

scenic driving
Thu Apr 20 2017

Not exactly "hiking" but this monument is a beautiful pit stop on the way to las cruces. Also, the lady working in the gift shop is awesome and gave us restaurant suggestions around the area.

hiking
Fri Feb 03 2017

Beautiful and quiet.

hiking
Tue Jan 17 2017

I felt like I was on another planet out here. This place is so cool. I loved it.

hiking
Mon Dec 19 2016

very easy and beautifully unique. this trail hits some sweet spots where you are on top of the dunes with a 360 view of white sands. winter time is very cold. saw kids sledding like it was snow!

Sun Dec 18 2016

Amazing place!...loved it!

Tue Aug 09 2016

Can't say I was specifically on this trail, once you get off the road, sand dunes are a free for all which direction you head, I will say though for sand dunes, these are the easiest dunes you will ever hike on, it's like a constant state of dampness, you don't sink as much as the average dune, the white is very unique as well, high recommend (even if you have done your fair share of dunes!

hiking
Wed May 11 2016

Unplanned detour on my trip and the best decision I've made. Truly breathtaking. Highly recommend, uploaded pictures are such bad resolution compared to the real thing.

camping
Wed Sep 30 2015

Camping in White Sands backcountry is a very unique experience and well worth doing at least once. The hike is easy and you will enjoy camping under the stars and awaken to the surreal landscape. Nothing beats the sunrise in the sandy dunes.

hiking
Tue Sep 29 2015

Absolutely beautiful!

hiking
Mon Jul 15 2013

Gorgeous scenery! Wish I could've stayed to see the sunset. Will definitely have to come back!

hiking
Mon Jul 15 2013

This was a good stop for us and very glad we did. Check it out!

hiking
Thu Jun 06 2013

This place is beautiful. It's as if you're in another world. The sand feels great between your toes and the backcountry is nothing but white sand dunes and mountains in the backdrop. Awesome place!

walking
Fri Jun 29 2012

So pretty! You feel like you are on another planet! Just amazing! Go early when hardly any one else is there.

hiking
Fri Jan 27 2012

I love White Sands. This is a great place for the whole family. Fun to hike, camp and don't forget sledding on the dunes. It is very intriguing to see with a full moon too. Very interesting ecosystem.

hiking
Fri Sep 23 2011

Very unique site with the white sand. Enjoyed the visit. Sand sledding is a fun thing to do when you are there. Very busy when we went during the summer.

camping
Thu Aug 11 2011

Wonderful trip to a surreal landscape. Great hike and fun sledding.

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

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