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White Sands moonlit hike to Alkali Flat

After last night I am already excited about the next one! So here it is.

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 on the dunes.

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.)

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. If you carpool, please remember to compensate your driver.

HIKE DURATION: From sunset (7:00 pm?) to whenever we get back (probably between 9:30-10 pm).

PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Pets must be on a leash or physically restrained at all times (park rules).

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 high during the day is 93, low is 64. Can be cool on dunes, especially if they are damp.

AFTERWARDS we'll go home. (Maybe if there is time, we can do some moonlight sledding).

MEET for carpool at:

MORE information:

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  • Arturo R.

    SNL skit I mentioned. (coolio)

    August 22, 2013

  • steven

    will meet at the trail head

    August 21, 2013

  • Young C. J.

    Samat, my friend, Holly and I will be at White Sands visitor center: 6:45 pm, front parking lot, not at K-Mart parking lot.

    1 · August 20, 2013

    • Raena

      Thanks, Young. See you tonight.

      August 21, 2013

  • Sandra M.

    Won't be able to make it. :-(. Meeting at work

    August 21, 2013

  • Young C. J.

    Is anyone coming from El Paso?

    August 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds fun. I will miss out have a great hike

    August 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Meet you guys at the trailhead

    2 · July 22, 2013

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