One of the absolute highlights of our trip has been our visit to White Sands National Monument. We didn’t quite know what to expect when we arrived, and hadn’t heard too much beforehand.  All we knew was to expect dunes and sledding – at a National Monument?

You can bring in your own sleds, of course, but they also have sleds for purchase in the gift shop. Since we were hoping to avoid all snow on the trip, we didn’t pack a sled! But the gift shop had both new and used sleds available for purchase (you could sell them back after you were done, for a partial refund).

White Sands is not made up of sand as we normally think of it. The sand here comes from gypsum crystals. Gypsum isn’t usually found in this form, because of its water solubility. However, since there is no outlet to the ocean in the nearby area, all water runoff from the nearby mountains collects here.

The road is still gypsum – just packed down hard from driving!

The land became a National Monument in 1933, created by President Hoover. It was tentatively put on the list of World Heritage Sites, but removed after lack of support and negative public reaction. This would seem strange, since World Heritage Sites draw tourism. But White Sands National Monument is surrounded by military land – White Sands Missile Range and the Holloman Air Force Base. Having the influence of the UNESCO committee on the National Monument could potentially lead to international interference to stop nearby military operations. So, in 2008, it was removed from that list.

Yes, we have an America suit onboard! Cory thought this would be a fun place to wear it, and it certainly made for good pictures! Other tourists were stopping to snap pictures of him as he sped down the slopes. We attracted a lot of attention that day!

There’s a lot to do in White Sands – hiking, camping, and some great ranger-led talks and walks. But the most fun? SLEDDING!! We also had a great time snapping some silly photos, and enjoying the beauty of the land.

A few tips for new sledders:

- Wax it up! The sand scratches at the disc, and the wax will help your speed.

- Choose steep slopes – you can actually get some good speed going!

We had such a great time at White Sands. I would love to go back and participate in a Full Moon hike, or camp under the stars.

Have you ever been to White Sands National Monument? Or have you even heard about it?

xo,

Lindsay

Check out some more pictures:

On the way

On the way

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

The most fun ever to be stacked in a corner

The most fun ever to be stacked in a corner

Visit here please

Visit here please

The road is actually just packed down gypsum

The road is actually just packed down gypsum

How cool does this look?

How cool does this look?

waxing our discs for max speed

waxing our discs for max speed

The climb up was a challenge in itself!

The climb up was a challenge in itself!

Immediately the silly poses started

Immediately the silly poses started

Trekking up

Trekking up

Ready for the plunge

Ready for the plunge

weeeeeee

weeeeeee

Falling sand

Falling sand

Peeking over the dune crest

Peeking over the dune crest

Looking out over a sea of white

Looking out over a sea of white

Cricket, blasting music for our rides

Cricket, blasting music for our rides

Cory coming up for a ride

Cory coming up for a ride

Ripples in the sand

Ripples in the sand

IMG_9720

IMG_9720

Getting his Tebow on, of course.

Getting his Tebow on, of course.

Some downward dog for good measure

Some downward dog for good measure

Surveying his white sands domain

Surveying his white sands domain

Jumping over the RV

Jumping over the RV

Red, White (Sands), and Blue!

Red, White (Sands), and Blue!

I love this one!

I love this one!

We had so much fun taking pictures

We had so much fun taking pictures

My family might recognize this pose!

My family might recognize this pose!

Getting ready to take off

Getting ready to take off

I was out of breath by the time I reached the top! Dune climbing is hard.

I was out of breath by the time I reached the top! Dune climbing is hard.

Getting a workout in with our fun

Getting a workout in with our fun

IMG_9796

IMG_9796

coming in fast!

coming in fast!

Loving it

Loving it

The wandering American

The wandering American

Leisure sledding

Leisure sledding

On the wayWhite Sands National MonumentThe most fun ever to be stacked in a cornerVisit here pleaseThe road is actually just packed down gypsumHow cool does this look?waxing our discs for max speedThe climb up was a challenge in itself!Immediately the silly poses startedTrekking upReady for the plungeweeeeeeeFalling sandPeeking over the dune crestLooking out over a sea of whiteCricket, blasting music for our ridesCory coming up for a rideRipples in the sandIMG_9720Getting his Tebow on, of course.Some downward dog for good measureSurveying his white sands domainJumping over the RVRed, White (Sands), and Blue!I love this one!We had so much fun taking picturesMy family might recognize this pose!Getting ready to take offI was out of breath by the time I reached the top! Dune climbing is hard.Getting a workout in with our funIMG_9796coming in fast!Loving itThe wandering AmericanLeisure sledding

UPDATE!! Check out this video we put together of our sledding adventures!

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6 Responses to Sledding at White Sands National Monument – Alamogordo, NM

  1. Caroline says:

    Love the “leisure sledding” picture :) So glad you are posting all of these! Love catching up with your adventures!

  2. White Sands is HIGH on my list of unexpectedly awesome places. I don’t know if you did this, but one of my faves there was to take my GPS and go wandering aimlessly for a few hours. It’s unbelievable to realize how disorienting it is out there.

  3. Mary Elisabeth says:

    I think these are my favorite pictures so far (actually, I know they are); you two are so very adorable! I remember seeing a couple of these on Facebook & I’m so glad there are more. I love that in #33 you can see Cory reflected in your sunglasses :)

    I had never heard of this National Park, but I’m drawn to it & really want to sled on the dunes while wearing a crazy outfit (though maybe not a unitard).

  4. John & Cindy says:

    Absolutely wonderful pictures! We visited here but didn’t rent a sled and we certainly didn’t have a bright unitard. Incredibly fun!

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