The first time I visited White Sands was a year ago on a family road trip to the Hatch Chile Festival. We spent a few hours sledding down the dunes before the bright sand left us feeling tired and sunburnt.
This time around was different. @SpencerFochtman invited @ScottyReichard and me to come with him to New Mexico for the weekend. I’ll be honest, the three of us weren’t quite sure how to spend an entire day in the sand. Leading up to our trip, we contemplated going somewhere else.
I’m happy we stuck with the plans, though! Once there, @ScottyReichard, @SpencerFochtman, @TaylorDuncanPhotography and I laughed more than four people probably should in one sitting.
Below is my itinerary for spending a day in White Sands. Should you find yourself here, check out these spots!
Alkali Flat Trail
Once in the parking lot, you’ll undoubtedly see families with sleds all over the place. Start hiking the trail, though, and you’ll find yourself in more secluded parts of the dunes. The layers and formations alone will leave you in awe!
While I didn’t get here on this trip, it’s work noting that there is an oasis in the middle of these vast dunes! The dunes of White Sands hold water. When there’s enough, Lake Lucero fills up for all to see. This spot is known to as the “Birthplace” of White Sands. Permits are required to visit this spot, and it’s worth checking out if you can get them!
Camping was my favorite part of the day. There are only ten permits sold per day at the Visitors Center. I recommend getting here early! We ended up at camp number two, which proved to be a great spot for sunset. A majority of our time here was spent exploring the dunes along the camp. What’s great about this spot is the San Andres Mountains in the distance. The sun sets itself right between the range, coloring the dunes orange and purple.
Shoot the Milkyway
Should you get a camping permit, you’ll find yourself in a prime spot for the Milkyway! The boys set their alarms for 4:00 am to snag some of these shots!
There you have it! How to spend a day in White Sands. What spot would you hit first? Let me know in the comments! Shout out to @ScottyReichard for capturing these beautiful images, which were edited with my Lightroom presets. You can get them here.
Dani is the Founder of Mountain Chicks and the primary author of the Mtn Chicks Blog. Here you'll find outdoor tips, travel experiences, gear reviews and more.