White Sands National Monument
New Mexico
White Sands home page
This is not normal quartz sand like what we see at the beach. It is made of gypsum and is whiter than any sand I've ever seen.
Gypsum (hydrous calcium sulfate) is used in most of our buildings (drywall). The largest pure gypsum dune field in the world is here. The dunes are very active, moving Northeast up to 30 feet a year.
Matilda was enjoying her day at White Sands heaven. Her owner brings her here on
Sundays to enjoy a taste of home.
Rain is a rare event here in the desert. They get only up to 10 inches of rain in one year. Here in New Orleans, our average annual is between 57 and 64 inches annually.
The trees in these 3 pictures are probably about 30 feet high but only about few feet showed above the dune. They were able to stay alive by growing faster than the dune was able to cover it.
Even though the temperature was probably over 100F this sand is not hot like the
quartz sands of regular beaches. I walked the Dune Life Nature Trail barefooted.
There was a hawk on almost every telephone pole about 100 yards from the road on the White Sands Missle Range but they were so far away, it was hard to hold the camera still.  
Large picture of above panorama.
Large picture of above panorama
Day 1 - Fluorite Mine and Wildfire
~6 seconds
Day 1 - Kilbourne Hole
~4 seconds
Day 2 - Three Rivers Petroglyphs
~15 seconds
Day 3 - Fluorite Mine
~11 seconds
Day 4 - Hueco Tanks trip #1
~12 seconds
Day 5 - El Paso Missions
~9 seconds
Day 5 - Wilderness Park Museum
~12 seconds
Day 6 - Hueco Tanks trip #2
~15 seconds
Hueco Tanks information
Day 6 - Guadalupe Mountains
~13 seconds
Day 7 - White Sands National Monument
~17 seconds
Day 8-9 - The El Paso Loop Trail
~5 seconds
Day 10 - Hueco Tanks trip #3
~12 seconds (The best of the trip)
Day 11 - Trip Home
~9 seconds
Link to the Large Versions Back to the map page. Please mail me broken links-pics.