This 2011 photo shows visitors hiking the shifting dunes of White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, N.M. The 275 square miles of sand… White Sands is the perfect road trip destination. On Dec. 20, 2019, legislation transformed New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument into the 62nd national park. “Our staff are very excited for White Sands to be recognized as a national park and to reintroduce ourselves to the American public,” said White Sands Superintendent Marie Sauter. The glistening white sand of New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin has become the newest destination in the U.S. National Park System. Elevating White Sands National Monument to National Park Benefits Local Economy May 2018 The re-designation would create New Mexico's second National Park, and could bring in millions of tourism revenue to local communities, according to new study. ALBUQUERQUE — President Donald Trump’s signature on defense legislation enacted by Congress means White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico is now White Sands National Park. Before you visit, can call the national park at 575-479-6124 or check their website to determine if there is a missile test scheduled. During occasional missile tests and the park and Highway 70 are closed. White Sands National Park is an American national park located in the state of New Mexico on U.S. Route 70 approximately 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Alamogordo and 52 miles (84 km) northeast of Las Cruces, in western Otero County and northeastern Doña Ana County. If you arrive early, you can snag yourself one of the ten backcountry campsites discreetly tucked between various dunes about a mile's hike from the parking lot. Exploring White Sands National Park by Car Dunes Drive is an eight-mile scenic drive that leads from the visitor center into the heart of the gypsum dunefield. New Mexico's White Sands Is Officially a National Park The country's largest dune field has been a national monument since 1933, but now it's our 62nd national park Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Long known as a national monument, White Sands in southern New Mexico now is known as a national park due to language that made that name change that was included in the Defense Department budget bill signed by President Trump. White Sands National Park Visitor Center, gift shop, Dunes Drive, hiking trails, picnic areas, sledding and restrooms opened June 29. The world's largest gypsum dunefield is now the United States' newest national park. White Sands National Monument Now Officially a National Park In guidebooks, this park will now be listed among stalwarts like Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. The name changed boosted the number of "national parks" in the National Park System to 62. The park encompasses 145,762 acres protecting 115 sq mi of the dunefield, about 41%, while the remaining 160 sq mi are located to the north within White Sands … Michelle Lujan Grisham earlier this year signed a measure that prompted the creation of a dedicated division in state government to focus on expanding outdoor recreation and related economic development. White Sands National Monument in New Mexico has been designated a national park. The park was originally designated White Sands National Monument on January 18, 1933 by President Herbert Hoover, and redesignated as a national park when Congress passed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act on December 20, 2019. White Sands is one of 419 National Parks in the U.S. White Sands National Monument is open daily year-round except for December 25, Christmas Day. White Sands became the 62nd designated national park Friday with Trump’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which included a provision on the … Across the lonely dunes of New Mexico’s Great White Sand Dunes National Park, the ghost of a lonely maiden still dressed in her flowing white wedding gown searches endlessly for her lost love. White Sands became the 62nd designated national park Friday with Trump’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which included a provision on the re-designation, park officials said Saturday in a statement. It is the largest pure gypsum dune field in the world. There are few written accounts of the famous legend of White Sands, leaving oral tradition left to carry on the Legend of Pavla Blanca. © 2021 www.lcsun-news.com. The National Park Service (NPS) welcomed its 62nd member on Friday, when Donald Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act into law. Hours of operation vary throughout the year. On December 20, 2019, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 was signed and the White Sands National Monument's name was "supercharged" and became our 62nd "national park". Transitioning from a national monument to a national park in the final days of 2019, White Sands park was forced to shut down just a few weeks later, and was among the last to reopen. Efforts to establish a national park in the area date back more than a century as some locals wanted to protect the dunes from commercial interests that were attempting to mine the gypsum. White Sands sees hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, more than any other park service location in New Mexico. We recognize our responsibility to use data and technology for good. Related content 3 years, 80,000 miles, 61 national parks All rights reserved. Support local Journalism. Not … In 2017, White Sands logged more than 600,000 visits and spurred more than $31 million in spending for the local economy. White Sands was established as a national monument in 1933 and re-designated as a national park in December, 2019. White Sands became the 62nd designated national park Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 with Trump's signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which included a … “We are so appreciative of our partners, local communities, and congressional leaders who made this achievement possible and look forward to continued success working together.”, White Sands National Monument was established on Jan. 18, 1933, by President Herbert Hoover to preserve “the white sands and additional features of scenic, scientific, and educational interest.”, According to the statement, White Sands contains not only the world’s largest gypsum dunefield, including gypsum hearthmounds found nowhere else, but also is home to the globe’s largest collection of Ice Age fossilized footprints.”, READ:New Mexico politicians excited for White Sands 'national park' designation, The park, the statement said, “tells more than 10,000 years of human presence, all while providing memorable recreational opportunities.”. Recently searched locations will be displayed if there is no search query. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat who was among those who pushed for the re-designation, has said he expected the change would boost the local economy and spur more recognition for the unique spot. © Copyright TWC Product and Technology LLC 2014, 2021, Flooding Reveals Discovery Dating Back Nearly 400 Years, Jet Skier Fractures Spine on 'Super Swell Saturday', Hefty Price Tag to Live in World's First Floating City, Only 4th Time in 42 Years: 'Gateway to the Desert' Gets Snow, Why Deadly Avalanche at Resort Is Being Investigated, 'Ground Blizzard' Triggers Deadly 140-Vehicle Pileup, Caught on Cam: Hotel Disappears as Avalanche Roars Down, Ultra-Rare and Recently Spotted Near Salt Lake City, New Swarms Have Farmers, Villagers on Edge, Underground Embers Likely to Blame for California Fires, Democratic Republic of the Congo | Français, State of Vatican City (Holy See) | Italiano. Use up and down arrows to change selection. The act contained a provision redesignating White Sands National Monument in New Mexico as White Sands National Park. Below is the detailed listing of the monument and visitor center opening and closing hours for the current year. Type at least three characters to start auto complete. Sharing all the important information about White Sands National Park in New Mexico along with 10 photos to inspire your trip there soon. In fact, we headed there on our El Paso to Phoenix road trip. The first option will be automatically selected. Do not disturb wildlife just for a … New Mexico politicians excited for White Sands 'national park' designation, New Mexico politicians convey excitement on White Sands 'national park' designation, Cowboys for Trump takes White Sands gypsum sand to Washington, D.C. for tree lighting, White Sands National Monument: Q&A with Superintendent Marie Sauter, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. White Sands is home to a 176,000-acre gypsum dune field, the world’s largest. The dunes at White Sands likely began to form 7,000 to 10,000 years ago as Lake Otero began to dry up, according to the park service. The redesignation came as New Mexico joined other Western states in tapping into the lucrative outdoor recreation industry. The gypsum dunefield is the larges… It was designated as White Sands National Monument in 1933, and on December 20, 2019, it was redesignated as a National Park. Subscribe to … Gov. • The new national park is still surrounded by some of the mightiest military operations in the nation; White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base are significant contributors to our state’s economy. In early July 1945, the Feds claimed the area surrounding the monument as White Sands … White Sands became the 62nd designated national park Friday with Trump’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which included a … Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world's largest gypsum dunefield. White Sands National Park is located near the White Sands Missile Range. Use escape to clear. The park, located in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico, is one of the world's great natural wonders. Take control of your data. Aside from the name change, the federal legislation included provisions for a land exchange between White Sands and the U.S. Army, which operates an adjacent missile range. Its 275 square miles of undulating, wave-like gypsum … White Sands National Monument is now a National Park! Here’s a look at the natural wonder. The park is situated at an average elevation of about 4,000 feet (1,219 m) in the Tularosa Basin and comprises the southern part of a 275 sq mi (710 km ) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsumcrystals. The world’s largest gypsum dunes area was designated a … Camels at White Sands National Park If you're interested in a more exotic experience at White Sands National Park, you can board a camel and trek through this magnificent landscape. White Sands National Park is home to more than 800 different animal species, but we need your help to keep them safe and healthy!. Located in southern New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin, at the base of the Sacramento Mountains and near the town of Alamogordo and Holloman Air Force Base, White Sands has been protected as a National Monument since the Hoover Administration (1933 for our younger readers). The wind blown sands and rolling dunes of White Sands National Park blanket an area of 115 square miles in south-central New Mexico. 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