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Destination guides > North America > USA > Southwest USA > New Mexico > White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

The 580 square km White Sands National Monument is the world’s largest field of sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals as opposed to quartz-based sand. Gypsum results in much whiter sand than regular sand dunes and the dunes are also much cooler to walk on.
A 13km scenic drive starting at the visitor centre takes you through the heart of the dunes; however this road is occasionally closed for up to two hours at a time when missile tests are conducted at the adjacent White Sands Missile Range.

Park admission costs $3 per vehicle.


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