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At the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert lies a mountain ringed valley called the Tularosa Basin. Rising from the heart of this basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico.
Here, great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert and have created the world's largest gypsum dune field. The brilliant white dunes are ever changing: growing, cresting, then slumping, but always advancing. Slowly but relentlessly the sand, driven by strong southwest winds, covers everything in its path. Within the extremely harsh environment of the dune field, even plants and animals adapted to desert conditions struggle to survive. Only a few species of plants grow rapidly enough to survive burial by moving dunes, but several types of small animals have evolved a white coloration that camouflages them in the gypsum sand.
White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this gypsum dune field, along with the plants and animals that have successfully adapted to this constantly changing environment.
January 1 - May 27 7a.m to Sunset
May 28 - September 5 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
September 6 - December 31 (Closed December 25) 7 a.m. to Sunset
$3 - 7 Days
U.S. Highway 70/82 between Alamogordo and Las Cruces
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Updated Mar 3, 2006
Located on the outskirts of every road exiting Roswell, New Mexico are pairs of missle silos. Some have been purchased and developed by private citizens as residences, while others have been taken over by local farmers/ranchers/oil drillers. Some might still be unclaimed by this reading. They are fascinating works of art and a piece of history you should check out.
Written Sep 4, 2005
Travel down Highway 285 North to get a glimpse of the fields where the famous UFO crash took place. Of course, you won't see much UFO related but the sign. Turn onto the dirt road called "Bitter Root Road". But you'll see lots of wildlife ... my day trip gave me photo moments of antelope, jackrabbits, (no jackalopes!), roadrunners, and cows ...
Written Sep 4, 2005
If you are driving back to Albuquerque from Roswell, take Hwy 380 West and you will drive through the Valley of the Fires outside of Carrizozo. There is a small recreation area you can stop at and take a short nature hike.
The valley was filled with lava many thousand years ago. It was not from a volcano, but rather vents that were in the valley floor. Once the lava flow stopped and cooled it covered a huge area of the valley with black rock. Over the years plants and animals have flourished here and you can see that if you take the nature walk.
Native inhabitants include lizards, bats, deer, coyotes, tarantulas and of course snakes. We only saw the lizards as it was a hot day.
Updated May 26, 2004
The actual UFO crash site!!!!!!! Unless you know where this is (and are a little brave) you'll never see this. Go 13 miles north of town on Hwy 285 and look on the west side of the road for a white billboard that says 'UFO Tours' and a phone number. The number is disconnected - but that's the road to the crash site. Turn there and go about 2 miles in until you see a concrete monument. THAT'S IT!!! The road is in very bad shape and there's nothing to see once you get there, but you can say you were there.
Written Sep 8, 2002