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There are few things we love more than visiting national parks in an RV rental. So, when we heard that the U.S. government had designated a new national park in White Sands, New Mexico, you can guess how excited we were. If you’re a national park lover like us and you want to add this exquisite destination to your RV adventure bucket list, here are a few things you ought to know.
Why the Park Is Definitely Worth a Visit
You probably know that New Mexico has a lot of desert landscapes. But what you might not know is that it is also home to the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. Glistening white sands form great wave-like dunes that span 275 square miles, making the park a unique sight to behold.
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A Gift from the Past
Due to the unique nature of the gypsum sands, White Sands National Park is home to the world’s most extensive collection of Ice Age footprints. Dire wolf, human, giant sloth and mammoth all traversed the area and left behind a record preserved by the dunes.
Image Credit: Cornell Chronicle
Things to Do in the Park
There is loads to do in the park, including hikes, scenic drives through the dunes, full-moon ranger program and biking. The item on our bucket list – sand sledding! Have all the fun of snow sledding, without having to deal with, you know, the snow. Visitors can purchase plastic snow saucers at the park gift shop, so there’s no need to bring your own gear.
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The nearby White Sands Missing Range regularly conducts missile tests. The only road leading into the dunefield is closes down during these tests, sometimes for periods up to three hours. The park staff generally knows about these tests in advance, so be sure to call ahead on the day of your travel to the park.
Image Credit: White Sands National Park
Plan Your Visit
Here are the FAQs to know as you plan your RV road trip to White Sands National Park:
- Operation Season: Open daily year-round except for Christmas, Dec. 25.
- Operating Hours: Rotate throughout the year. Check on their website to plan accordingly.
- Entrance Fees: The park accepts cash, checks and credit cards, including MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, JCB and Diner’s Club. See below for fees:
- Park Passes: Holders of the Interagency Annual Pass, Interagency Access Pass, Interagency Senior Pass, Interagency Volunteer Pass and the White Sand Annual Pass will be admitted into the park for free. Pass holders can have up to three other adults in a private, non-commercial vehicle. How to Get There:
- Cell Usage: There is no Wi-Fi in the park. Please note that cell service and date availability will both be very limited.
- Lodging: There are public and private campgrounds as well as RV parks within an hour’s drive of the park.
If you make your way to White Sands National Park in one of our campervan rentals, be sure to tag us at @cruiseamericarv on your social channels for your chance to be featured.