Skip to content

White Sands | Supermoon | Hike to Alkali Flat


Hiking at White Sands National Monument, not by moonlight, but rather by SUPERMOONLIGHT!

That's right, you'll wish you had sunscreen and sunglasses for this night hike; the Perigee moon will certainly show no restraint, and neither will we. And now, back to your regularly scheduled program...

Each month during the summer, White Sands has a "full moon night" where the park is kept open an extra hour or two. Perfect for some night time, moonlit hiking. The park closes at 11 pm.

Note: this is different than the National Park Service's "Full Moon Hike", which is much shorter (1 mi), and requires a reservation in advance.

PLEASE BRING (apart from the obvious, like water):

Any necessary paperwork for immigration (there is a checkpoint!) Flashlight (for emergency purposes only, please don't use it and walk by moonlight instead) A potassium-containing snack (i.e. banana) — going up & down dunes is tiring, and we don't want to take too long. Sweater/jacket — it may be chilly. Something to drink for after the hike, if you are planning on going to the concert or hanging out for a while after the hike. If you have a GPS, please bring it, and load the GPS track linked below onto it.(I don't have a GPS, so please don't expect me to track the hike.)

If you are not a United States citizen, please remember to bring all necessary paperwork (which usually includes passport, entry visa, etc), as we will need to pass through a border patrol checkpoint. The US Border Patrol is not particularly kind to those who forget their papers.

DISTANCE is ~5 mi loop.

ELEVATION GAIN is some 200 ft elevation lost, but effectively it is much more because of the up & down of the dunes

FEES: $3/person. If you have a Federal Lands Pass, please bring them; they are accepted here.

DURATION: From sunset (8:30 pm?) to whenever we get back (probably between 9–10 pm).

PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash).

SKILL LEVEL is good for a first hike, but still somewhat challenging; the sand is loose and the hike is medium-length (5 mi).

TERRAIN is gypsum sand dunes. The recommendation is that you walk barefoot; otherwise, high-ankle boots/shoes with gaiters (to keep sand out of your shoes) also work great.

WEATHER is clear (tentative).

AFTERWARDS it'd probably be best to head home—Monday is a work day!

MEET for carpool at:

Las Cruces: 6:00 pm, K-Mart parking lot on North Main/US 70 and Del Rey, near Shell. GPS: 32.35083°N, 106.76538°W (,-106.76538) (see on Google Maps (,-106.76538&z=18), OpenStreetMap (, USGS topo map (,-106.76538&marker0=32.35083,-106.76538&z=18)) El Paso: Please meet in Las Cruces… given the construction on Transmountain and that you're organizer is not meeting there, coming from El Paso hasn't worked out too well recently. White Sands visitor center: 6:45 pm, front parking lot facing US 70. If you have a federal lands pass, consider carpooling from the visitor's center into the monument so people can save on admission fees. GPS: 32.35083°N, 106.76538°W (,-106.76538) (see on Google Maps (,-106.76538&z=18), OpenStreetMap (, USGS topo map (,-106.76538&marker0=32.35083,-106.76538&z=18))32.77935°N, 106.17218°W (,-106.17218) (see on Google Maps (,-106.17218&z=18), OpenStreetMap (, USGS topo map (,-106.17218&marker0=32.77935,-106.17218&z=18)) White Sands Alkali Flat trailhead: 7:00 pm. Please meet at the Alkali Flat trailhead register. GPS: 32.820625°N, 106.273515°W (,-106.273515) (see on Google Maps (,-106.273515&z=18), OpenStreetMap (, USGS topo map (,-106.273515&marker0=32.820625,-106.273515&z=18)) MORE information:

GPS track (
Kmart Parking Lot
Hwy 70 & Telshor Blvd, Take I-25, Exit 6 · Las Cruces, NM
How to find us

Northeast corner near Shell

Google map of the user's next upcoming event's location