White Sands National Monument is in south-central New Mexico, and actually occupies part of the White Sands Missile Range. Trinity, the site of the first atom bomb test, is near the north end of the Missile Range.
The vast majority of the Monument is accessible only on foot. The drivable road is only 8 miles long.
After setting up camp in an RV Park in the nearby town of Alamogordo, we were treated to a rainbow over the mountains to the east.
A double rainbow over Alamogordo and the Sacramento Mountains to the east.
Rainbow over Alamogordo.
We entered the Monument the next morning just as it opened at 7:00am in order to catch the warm tones of the morning light on the dunes.
The warm color of the dunes is actually due to the sunrise ... as we will see, in midday sun they are extremely white.
Sunrise shadows as the first rays catch the top of a Yucca plant.
Dunes will slump when they reach a certain critical steepness.
A quick catch on a passing jackrabbit.
Morning shadows on rippled sand.
This part of the Monument had a walkway suspended over the sand for about 100 yards.
As the sun rises farther, the dunes get whiter. The mountains are the San Andres Range to the west.
Soaptree Yuccas are one of the few plants to survive on the dunes.
There were a few blooms widely scattered in the dunes.