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White Sands Balloon Festival and Alkali Flat Trail

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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:

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.
Kmart Parking Lot
Del Rey Blvd · Las Cruces, NM
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Northeast corner near Shell

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