White Sands National Monument is in New Mexico, USA. It honestly is the middle of nowhere. If you were looking for the true meaning of the expression above then you found it. There are multiple ways to get there but I will give you the three easiest options (they all involve having a car – your own or a rental or a friends…):
Fly to Albuquerque & Drive: This option has the most affordable air fare (tickets) and you can fly here quite affordably from anywhere in the country. Rental cars here are on the low to medium price range for 2-3 days. If you are just wanting to go to White Sands all you need is 2 nights in NM. However, I do recommend you spend one of those nights in Las Cruces. The drive from the airport to White Sands is roughly 3.5 hours / 255 miles depending on which route you take.
Fly to El Paso TX & Drive. Downside to this option is that air fare to El Paso is expensive and so are the rental cars. BUT it is a way closer drive of only 1.5 hours and 100 miles!
Least exclusive option in regard to time: Drive to White Sands from Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Santa Fe, or Tucson.
6. Go to White Sands and hike the 10 mile (16km) ALKALI FLATS trail. Totally worth it! Stay in the park for sunset but make sure you don’t overstay and get a fine or get locked in for the night 😉
7. Drive to Alamogordo for dinner and for Night #2 Accommodation.
8. Wake up in Alamogordo and drive over to Ruidoso for breakfast and coffee at Zocca Coffee. It’s a cool little old mining town.
9. From here go have a quick lunch snack and views at the local SKI APACHE resort that is up at 11,000 feet! You might even feel the altitude and your heart racing BUT maybe its just the coffee you had before 😉
10. From here drive to Valley of Fires as you make your way back to Albuquerque airport. This is a cool volcanic lava field. I wouldn’t go in the park as you can just check it out from the road.
11. Drive back to Albuquerque airport 😊. This schedule should get you into town by 3pm.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO CONSIDER SEEING (if you have more time or are road tripping across USA)
A night in the Organ Mountains including rock climbing there
Hueco Tanks – rock climbing and bouldering
Photo cred to more than half the pictures: Andrea F.