White Sands National Monument in the Morning - South West Road Trip
White Sands, NM is a place that can't be explained without seeing it for yourself. The park opens at 7am and I would highly suggest you go that early. The sunrise against the white sand dunes is absolutely stunning. Absolutely. There are less people in the morning so you feel like you are in a snowy tundra of sand dunes alone. The elongated shadows and the colors of a desert sunrise are truly something to see. After you have watched the sunrise you can head back to the visitor center and rent a disc sled and sled down the dunes if you are so inclined. There a a couple hikes and are also picnic areas that are truly unique. Although there is not much to do in Almogordo, it's a manageable drive from Carlsbad Caverns (UNESCO) and I would suggest you do it VIA the Cloudcroft route.
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One of my best childhood memories is of the annual trips to White Sands National Park with my mother's family. We'd take round saucers, slick them with a little wax and careen downhill while screaming wildly. Recently went back for the first time in almost a decade and couldn't resist a few rides.