addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo

White Sands Full Moon Night Potluck Social and Hike

Each month during the summer, White Sands has a "full moon night", during which the park is kept open for a few extra hours. Closing at 11 pm, it's perfect for some night time, moonlit hiking.

Before hiking, we'll have a potluck social for an hour. As we rather focus on socializing and hiking rather than cooking, we are not bringing charcoal or a grill—please bring something to the potluck that tastes good cold! When you RSVP, list what you are bringing. We plan to park near the Alkali Flat trail head, setting up the potluck on one of the surrounding dunes.

Alcohol is allowed, though the park strongly urges you to be responsible about glass. Feel free to bring a bottle of wine or beer to share.

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 (see note below)
⚫ Flashlight (for emergency purposes only; please don't use it and walk by moonlight instead)
⚫ A potassium-containing snack (i.e., banana or protein bar) — 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, you can download the GPS track linked below onto it. (The event host may or may not be tracking the hike)

People have gotten lost while driving to the Alkali Flat trail head, even while caravaning. It is difficult to give directions (there are no landmarks) and the trail head is not well marked. Please check the map of Dunes Drive BEFORE you meet the group. If you're familiar with it you'll be better able to follow others.

If you are a guest of the United States (i.e. non-citizen), there is a US Customs & Border Patrol checkpoint demarcating passage to/from what the ACLU calls a "Constitution-Free Zone". If this bothers you, please donate to the ACLU and harass your congress critters; otherwise please bring appropriate documentation of your entry into the US (passports, visas, etc—you know better what you need than we do). Group hikes are not the place to make a stand for your civil liberties.

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: 2–3 hours.

PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Please bring a muzzle, just in case. 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). If you're a fast hiker, consider bringing weights to slow your pace down to the rest of the group.

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

WEATHER TBD. Check the forecast at the NWS. It can be surprisingly cool on dunes, especially if they are damp. In the event of inclement weather we usually wait an hour before the day of the event to cancel.

AFTERWARDS we'll go home. Maybe if there is time, we can do some moonlight sledding). We may go to IHOP near K-Mart on return to Las Cruces as well.

MEET for carpool at:

⚫ Las Cruces: 4:30 pm, K-Mart parking lot on North Main/US 70 and Del Rey, near Shell. GPS: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)
⚫ El Paso: 4:00 pm, Walmart at Transmountain/US 54 at the west-most parking lot towards US 54. See map (Google Maps). Note: your host is not meeting here, please self-organize!
⚫ White Sands visitor center: 5:30 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: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)
⚫ White Sands Alkali Flat trailhead: 5:45 pm, at the trailhead register. GPS: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map). Please DON'T meet here unless you know where it is!

Please leave a comment whether you are meeting the group in Las Cruces, El Paso, or elsewhere.

MORE information:

White Sands National Monument's Website
GPS track

Join or login to comment.

  • Yesica

    Does anyone have the group picture we took?

    August 18, 2014

    • Samat

      Working on it…

      1 · August 18, 2014

    • Yesica

      Thanks.

      August 18, 2014

  • Yesica

    Thank you for a fun hike and all the delicious food:)

    August 12, 2014

  • Raena

    Was a great night! Thanks to everyone for the food and drink. Really glad we did not have to cancel.

    2 · August 11, 2014

  • Yesica

    Anyone at Kmart?

    August 10, 2014

  • Sasha

    Carpooling straight to the visitor's center. Bringing hummus & pita chips.

    August 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry guys Im out rain causing some issues, im down for the next one though.

    August 10, 2014

  • Victoria W.

    I'm not going to be able to make it tonight. Have fun, and I'll hope to join you next time.

    August 10, 2014

  • steven

    according to radar it is not raining in the national park

    2 · August 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi All,

    I am not going to be able to make it tonight. Hopefull will be able to go at another time.

    Mary

    August 10, 2014

  • Raena

    We are still on! Hopefully the rain in LC will head a different direction. Bring a rain gear. See you in a bit.

    1 · August 10, 2014

    • Samat

      It rained earlier this afternoon at WS, so the ground will be wet and cold (plan appropriately). Said storm system has already moved past so hopefully otherwise we'll have clear skies. http://radar.weather....­

      1 · August 10, 2014

  • Marisa S.

    We found carpool buddies, we'll meet up at the visitor center!

    August 10, 2014

  • Amanda

    Nt gonna make it tonight after all, hope everyone has a great time!

    August 10, 2014

  • Bad A.

    I'll meet at K-mart and bring some guacamole and chips, I can drive if ppl want and got room for 3 more in my car.

    August 10, 2014

  • Lulu

    Avocados are in my list. Who is attending from el Paso? I would like to carpool.

    August 10, 2014

  • Bert V.

    im a maybe, and may try to find the group around the alkali flat trailhead around right before sunset. is that near the meeting point?

    August 10, 2014

    • Raena

      We are starting hike at alkali flats trail head. I would like to start hiking around 7-7:15ish. Sunsets not til 8.

      August 10, 2014

  • Marisa S.

    My friend and I are bringing a homemade asian slaw!

    August 10, 2014

  • Art

    Bringing homemade salsa chips and some of my homebrew beer I brewed recently.

    August 9, 2014

  • Victoria W.

    I will meet the group at the White Sands Visitor Center. And I'm bringing a salad.

    August 9, 2014

  • Raena

    If you are not meeting the group at Kmart in Las Cruces, please state where you are meeting the group, so we will not be waiting for you. Any last minute questions/comment please call or text (preferred)[masked]

    August 8, 2014

  • Raena

    I'll bring paper/plastic products, and something else to be determined.

    August 5, 2014

    • Raena

      Also bringing bacon quiche, and a folding table to put food on.

      August 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will bring a potato salad.

    August 6, 2014

  • Yubao

    I'm bringing a very simple house salad.

    August 5, 2014

  • Yared

    I'm bringing a macaroni salad.

    August 5, 2014

  • Carol

    Will meet ya'll at visitors center.

    August 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I read the info about the weather. However, will we get notification that it is cancelled due to severe rainstorms from our leader ??

    August 4, 2014

    • Renee

      They will tell us if it's canceled. Keep an eye on the meetup group. It was rainy last time, but was still a very nice hike.

      August 4, 2014

  • Renee

    I learned my lesson last time about over-eating before the hike. This time, I plan to bring some sort of interesting salad.

    1 · August 3, 2014

  • vijay c.

    i will meet the the group at white sands visitor center

    August 2, 2014

33 went

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy