Last minute posting: this Sunday (apparently not Saturday) is the White Sands Balloon Festival at White Sands National Monument. Lift-off is at 7 am. More information here: http://www.white-sands-new-mexico.com/hot_air_balloon_invitational.htm
I'm dedicated to getting at least one good photo, and hopefully a timelapse video—so I'm getting there early for when the park opens at 6 am. With an expected 400+ people attending, we'll probably spend most of our time waiting to get in, and hopefully not in the cold. I plan on leaving at 5 am sharp! If you're coming from El Paso, please meet us at K-Mart in Las Cruces—besides making it easier for us, the construction at Transmountain makes it difficult to gauge when you'll get to White Sands.
Afterwards (~8 am?), I'm planning to do a quick loop of Alkali Flat Trail (5 mi), hopefully back to cars by 11 am. Weather should be a warm but not uncomfortable 72°F by lunchtime. The hike is optional—please decide whether you'll be doing when we meet at K-Mart so we can plan carpool appropriately.
Admission fee is $3/person; federal lands passes are accepted.