Sand Dune Sledding
White Sands National Monument has been on my bucket list for awhile now. We were traveling from Minnesota to San Diego, CA for our West Coast Adventure. One of the things I LOVE about trip planning is that it’s often an open book. Like a “choose your own adventure” storybook. We looked at a few of the top places we wanted to check out and contoured the route to accommodate those adventures.
There wasn’t an RV Park here and since we were arriving into town late at night we pulled into Walmart to Boondock and fill up on much needed supplies in nearby Alamogordo, MN. The next morning we headed out to catch the sunrise on the dunes.
Our annual National Park Pass had just expired so we picked up our new one at the entrance. I always enjoy watching the light come up over new places. The sunrise here was spectacular. We were on the Desert Dune Drive and it was tough to keep driving, I kept wanting to stop and take pictures!
The desert dune drive is an incredible 16 mile loop that takes you right through the heart of the dunes. It can easily fit RVs of any size. If you have limited time to check out the National Monument, take this drive and climb a dune!
After stopping a few random jaw dropping spots on the drive we pulled into the parking lot for the Alkali Flat Trail. The parking lots for hiking trails are huge. Danielle loves when we have the RV with when I go hiking. She pulled the slideouts out and took a nap with Ella.
The Alkali Flat Trail is a great one because it’s extremely scenic and you don’t have to do the entire 5 mile loop to get great views. The hike is exactly what you would expect, walking on beautiful white sand dunes.
The entire basin was once filled with water as a lake. Over time the lake dried up and the Gypsum was blown into dunes by the wind. When the sun hits the dunes they light up.
It can be a challenge to prepare for hikes in extreme climates. Starting out it was 12 degrees outside but quickly heated up when the sun came up over the mountains. That’s why layering is so important. I worked up a big appetite so when I got back to the RV I had lunch with a view!
Knowing we were coming here I purchased this sled in Minnesota before heading out on this trip. If you aren’t in an area that sells sleds they sell them at the visitor center.
Growing up in Minnesota we did a lot of sledding. Although on this day I didn’t hit any jumps like on “Killer Hill” back home at Pioneer Park, I was able to pick up a good amount of speed coming down the dune!