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White Sands moonlit hike to Alkali Flat

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.

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 will be determined closer to the date.

AFTERWARDS we'll go home.

MEET for carpool at:

MORE information:

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  • A former member
    A former member

    spectacular walk (clouds and all) in the company of great people and the most sprightly dog on earth

    September 20, 2013

  • Samat

    Before anyone asks, we're still hiking even if it rains (unless there is lightning).

    September 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    will opt out for today, weeding my yard is at this moment screaming for attention :)

    September 19, 2013

  • Yesica

    Would this appropriate for ten year old child?

    September 19, 2013

    • Samat

      If you have to ask... No, it probably isn't. 5 miles is a long way, and if you have doubts please do it first yourself before bringing children.

      September 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Meet you guys at trailhead 7pm

    September 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be out of town, but I hope you all decide to go again next month!

    September 9, 2013

6 went

  • Samat
    Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Kenny J.
    Co-Organizer
  • Gus
  • A former member
  • A former member
    +1 guest

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