.I believe this should be on every family’s bucket list.The weather was absolutely beautiful overcast 70 degrees and the park was not crowded at all.I’m talking a quarter of the price. They sell at a premium here, a staggering price of $18.Sledding at White Sands National Monument had been on our family bucket list since before we started this fulltime RV journey.

Set up a Day Camp white sands new mexico campingOur White Sands day camp was a little spread out, but a ton of fun.

Bring sand toys, and camping chairs and set up camp.Just to ease any concerns for moms and dads of littles (because this was a concern for me) you do not need to do much hiking to get into the dunes.We figured the kids can take turns and it wasn’t worth blowing our budget over it.It did not seem difficult for my three-year-old to navigate and he was able to mostly climb and walk by himself.From El Paso to White Sands National Monument takes about an hour and a half.Staying hydrated is super important in the desert. white sands national monumentA typical view in White Sands National Monument

The national parks truly are America’s treasures.This was so nice because it was so easy to take a break when we needed or run to the truck and grab a drink or snack and always have it close by.[Spend One Day In How Is You Toronto This]

sand dunes new mexicoFresh sled tracks in the white sand.You will save a lot of money if you buy your sled outside the park.While we weren’t sledding we sat with the younger kids and let the older kids explore the dunes.

Bring Water Into the Park

There is no free potable water available after the visitors center.Otherwise, it is a lovely place to enjoy the sand dunes in New Mexico.We know because we called all the Walmarts in the area and they all said the same thing- they only carry them in the summer.Plus, we enjoyed the Farmers Market, $1 children’s movies at the Rio Grande Theatre downtown and they also have lots of free museums.The majority of the park is natural sand dunes so it does take a little bit of climbing.If you are traveling with a wheelchair there are still areas and trails of the park you can enjoy.[My Weekly Week Round A Up Crazy]

Check for Missile Testing

Just outside of the park the US Airforce has a base that frequently tests different gadgets.We watched the weather and chose the warmest day of the week with a low wind forecast.One quick way to ruin your whole day at the White Sands National Monument with your family is to show up only to find the road into the park closed for missile testing.I can’t speak to the park in the summer.

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Where is White Sands National Monument?

White Sands National Monument New Mexico is about an hour outside of Las Cruces. The best thing to do is to look on the website. It will list closures usually 24-48 hours in advance.[In To Ways Weekend Love 19 A Montreal]

The tip here is, even though it sounds super counter-intuitive, they only sell sleds in the summer, not the winter.You will also need to bring your own charcoal and matches.We really enjoyed setting up our base in Las Cruces, about an hour away.While there was no playground, the kids enjoyed riding their bikes around the campground. Buy a Sled at White Sands

If you can’t purchase your sled at a different location, don’t worry.This is not a stroller or wheelchair friendly national park for the most part.I absolutely love when you can go to a national park with your family and find a little spot where you can be alone without others and just enjoy nature and space.So this time when we were near White Sands National Monument camping there was no way I was going to miss out on taking the kids sledding at the famous New Mexico sand dunes.For way too long I took them for granted.So just remember to pack sunglasses even for the littles.

Bring in Food

Similar to the water situation you want to bring enough food at least for one meal and snacks.Depending on where you go your car can remain in close proximity to you.At the end of the day we made sure to pay it forward and leave the sled the same way we had found it.They sat and shoveled sand into buckets over and over for hours.Plan to visit the White Sands National Monument and spend a day sledding and playing in the sand.The White Sands National Monument hours vary depending on the time of year but usually range from 10 am to Sunset.We loved visiting in the winter.Some great family-friendly hotel options include the Hilton Garden Inn Las Cruces, Staybridge Suites Las Cruces, Holiday Inn Express and Suites Las Cruces and Comfort Suites Las Cruces.[Tour Walking Great To Of Free London Learn The About London Facts Fire]

Bring Flip Flops and Sunscreen

Most likely you will be barefoot most of the day.The sand is white, even blinding white and if it is sunny outside it makes it difficult to see and navigate.Make sure you check the weather for wind if you are planning on nearby camping.

We only bought one sled.They sell for the busy sand sledding season, not for snow sledding.Be on the look out because apparently it’s not an uncommon thing for people to leave sleds for others to use.[Arizona Getting Singapore From To]

Where to Camp at White Sands

We stayed at the Hacienda RV resort in Las Cruces New Mexico.You take the Interstate 10 get off in Las Cruces and take the highway 70 in.While sledding was the highlight for my older girls, the sand toys were definitely the highlight for my younger ones.It really was a magical day for all of us.In the winter it’s cool but not cold.It reminded me of snow skiing when it is snowing and overcast and you have a hard time seeing the ground.You will find most of your favorite chains nearby.The sand is cool even in the summer.Most people don’t travel with sleds, we get it.

I do want to note here I wasn’t sure what to expect White Sands National Monument would be like and how easily accessible it would be get to our truck.It’s not quite that bad but you get the idea.I’m guessing it is a little more crowded but we really enjoyed the time of year we went.[Leh Places In To Ladakh Visit Top]

They do sell used sleds at the same gift shop for $10 but they run out (even on not busy days) so try to get there early.It was about an hour away right off the Interstate 10 and there were lots of great things to do there.We were happy with sandwiches, chips and fruit in our cooler that we could run back to the truck easily if we needed to.[The Hawaii In Oahu Hotels Best Luxury]

White Sands National Monument Hotels

There are plenty of great options for hotels near White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.These tests requir the road to be shut down, often for hours.That is a pretty rough price to pay for a one time use kind of thing and it definitely adds up when you have multiple people that want to sled.

Bring a cooler with sodas, Gatorade, and water because you will want to spend the day playing not driving back to the visitor’s center to buy water.Please also note that there were signs that restricted alcoholic beverages to certain times of the year so you may want to double check if you plan on bringing adult beverages.[Friends In Making Sherpas While With Nepal The Trekking]

Not Super Accessible

Some notes for parents with smaller kids and wheelchair accessibility needs.Flip flops make it easy to slip on and off so you can have them in the parking lots or restrooms.

Here is some important information that will help make your trip so much smoother at White Sands National Monument:

Tips for Visiting White Sands National Monument Get a Sled white sands sleddingWhite Sands sledding was a hit for everyone in the family. Bring Your Own

If it is practical, bring your own sleds from home.However, as we were driving into the park Reid noticed out of the corner of his eye a sled on the side of the road We drove over to it and some kind Samaritan had left it there with a giant FREE written in the sand.We opted to bring a couple of camping chairs and set up a small day camp.There are grills and picnic areas if you want to plan on bringing some hotdogs or meat to heat.

If you buy a sled from the gift shop you have the option of selling it back to them at the end of the day for $5 (or $3 if you bought a used one) if you show your receipt.Also, if you’re sensitive to bright light it can quickly give you a headache and could potentially ruin your day.Don’t get me wrong the experience is definitely worth it and it’s a lot of fun sledding so you don’t want to miss out.White Sands is not the most fun when it is windy as you can imagine.On your way into the park, there is a nice boardwalk that you can take to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery.[Ice Liverpool Tickets Win Disney In On To]

We went in February and could not have asked for a better day.

Enjoy White Sands Year Round View this post on Instagram

I'll see you where the sand meets the sky ❤⁣ ⁣ #findyourpark #nationalpark #whitesands #newmexico ⁣ #nationalparks #igsouthwest #landofenchantment #nationalparkgeek #newmexicotrue #usinterior #goparks #parks #nm #purenm #nmgrammers #nps #igersnm #familytravel #lpkids #familytrip #rvingwithkids #fulltimefamilies #nationalparkservice #nmtrue #travelwithkids #divine_deserts #familytraveltribe #familytraveltribe #travelphotography #travelnewmexico

A post shared by Reid and Hilarye Fuller (@dottingthemap) on Mar 12, 2019 at 10:07am PDT

White Sands is enjoyable at any time of the year.Mom and Dad enjoyed the adults only hot tub and exercise room.[De Lanzarote Glamping Finca Review Luxury Arrieta]

Bring Sunglasses new mexico sand dunesSunglasses are a must for White Sands National Monument.

Every single person in your family needs sunglasses and depending on if it is sunny likely a hat as well.It’s comfortable and soft to walk in and will be easier on foot than in shoes.You will definitely want to pack in a fair amount of water and drinks as there is nowhere to get it for at the visitors center at the front of the park and it’s not close to where all the fun is.We enjoyed the very clean showers and restrooms.This costs about $2 and you also have the option to sell it back at the end of the day for $0.50.  If you plan on taking advantage of any of the buybacks you need to be back to the gift shop before 5 pm.

Buy a Sled Outside White Sands

If it’s the right season buy your sled at Walmart ahead of time (a saucer style works best).It can almost give you a bit of vertigo.The monument is kind of out there, so the closest Walmart is about 25 minutes away.[Routine For Cleansing Sonic Skincare Flawless Brush Skin]

Have you been to White Sands National Monument with your family? What did you think?

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The post 9 Things to Know Before Going to White Sands National Park with Your Family appeared first on Dotting the Map.
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