White Sands Dunes Ride


White Sands Map

White Sands Loop Drive Location

The 8-mile White Sands National Monument Dunes Road is a fascinating ride just west of Alamogordo. The ride starts at the interesting WSNM Visitors Center about 13 miles west of Alamogordo on US70. Allow time to tour the Visitor's Center to learn the origin of White Sands. Although the road is only 8 miles each way plan for an entire morning so that you have time to stop at the numerous pullouts and trails. The monument has great views of the Sacramento Mountains east of Alamogordo.

The dunes drive is a flat 8-mile (each way) ride out and back from the visitor's center on US70. There are several trails along the drive you can hike, picnic areas, a boardwalk trail, and the dune trail at the end of the road. The one mile Big Dune loop walk takes you up on top of the dunes.

The last 2 miles or so of the paved road may be covered by packed gypsum with soft spots. There is water at the visitor's center but none on the loop. Take your camera. Take a locking cable so you can lock up your bike at trail heads.

The best time is spring and fall to avoid the extreme heat of the summer. It can be pretty cold up to April. There is an entrance fee of $3 per person.

Getting There: Begin and end at the White Sands National Monument Visitors Center, about 13 miles west of Alamogordo on US70. There are bathrooms and water fountains. The Dunes Road goes to the north from there.

Distance: 8 Miles each way, flat.

Roadway: Paved, but there may be soft drifting gypsum spots on the road, especially on the northern-most part. Hardly any traffic.


  • See the Cloudcroft Loop for lots of other rides and things to do.
  • White Sands National Monument usually offers a spring and fall moonlight bicycle ride where the road is closed to cars.
  • There are beautiful rides in the Sacramento Mountains.


  • There are lots to see and do in Alamogordo and Cloudcroft. Read Bicycling America's National Parks: Arizona and New Mexico by Sarah Bennett Alley for detailed descriptions of ride options around Cloudcroft and Alamogordo.