White Sands National Park

Camping & Lodging

Overview - Description - Things To Do - Maps - Nearby


There is no lodging within White Sands National Park.

There are hotels and motels in Alamogordo, 16 miles northeast with something for every taste and price range. For more information and a complete list. Click Here. (Rates, availability and reservation online)


The only camping in White Sands National Park is a primitive backcountry campsite for anyone wishing to hike a short distance to enjoy a night on the white sands.The backcountry campsite, located about 1/3 mile from the scenic drive, is reached from a trailhead on the drive 4.5 miles from the Visitor Center. The campsite is primitive with no water or toilet facilities. No ground fires are permitted at the campsite or anywhere else in the park because they will create a blackened plaster of paris scar.

Anyone wishing to use the backcountry campsite must stop at the Visitor's Center during the hours of operation, and obtain a permit. The park is occasionally closed, for safety reasons, during testing operations on the surrounding White Sands Missile Range. No backcountry camping is allowed during these closures. Since missile tests are subject to change, call the park the day before you plan to use the campsite to verify that the site will be available that night. Permits are free but are limited and available only in person on the day of use, on a first come-first served basis. To use the campsite:

  • Stop at the Visitor Center to obtain a permit.
  • Fill your water containers at the spigot outside the visitor center. There is no water beyond this point. We recommend at least 1 gallon per day per person for drinking.
  • Park in the backcountry campsite parking lot. Put all valuables out of sight and lock your vehicle. Display your permit on your dashboard.
  • Follow the posts over the dunes and camp within 100 yards of the last post. Camping anywhere else is prohibited. To avoid getting lost, unless you are very familiar with the area, we recommend that you return to your site before dark.
  • Carry out all trash and biological waste.

No other types of camping are available at the park, but there are many public and private campgrounds in the vicinity. Such campgrounds are located in

  • Alamogordo (16 miles northeast)
  • Las Cruces (52 miles southwest)
  • Oliver Lee Memorial State Park (22 miles from park on highway 54, south)
  • Aguirre Springs, BLM recreation area (35 miles southwest).



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