Next destination on our “Road Trip Thanksgiving 2015” was White Sands National Monument. The same day morning, we had spent time exploring the City of Rocks State Park. These dunes of gypsum sands is another one of magic hour paradises. Getting there for sunset to see the line up of colors like an artist’s palette is truly the best decision we made.
One interesting thing to keep in mind is the check point for legal stay in the country. We had taken our green card, passport,visa photo copies with us. They pulled us over checked our license and legal status before letting us proceed any further. It took like 15-mins. So, plan this stop if you are coming from Arizona to NM in your trip.
The park closed at 5PM (Check the timing on nps website. Or call the visitor center). We got there by 4PM and stayed there to watch sun go down and the mesmerizing colors pop up.
It gets extremely cold in the winter and even a slight breeze makes it even worse. So, plan to bundle up if you are staying for sunset.
I didn’t get enough of the park in one evening. So we stayed that night in Alamogordo and came back to the park in the morning. Throughout the day, the park gets significant number of visitors irrespective of the season. The footsteps ruin the beautiful patterns left behind by the wind. So, if you want to see those patterns, come really early in the morning before the crowd. Our original plan was to reach the park at 7AM (thats when they opened the park), but I wasn’t feeling well that morning. So, we slept in and came around 10AM and managed to find few sections of the dunes without foot steps.
If you have lot of time, you can hike through the dunes and reach deep for more beautiful dunes and patterns. We did some walks in the dunes, and that deep silence of desert…..something worth going back for.
Going with kids ? Your kids are going to love it !! Climb the dune and slide down and do it again. It’s a lot of fun.
Next stop: Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.