Me in the Middle of the Dunes

White Sands National Park in New Mexico.
Who would have thought that a bunch of sand in the desert
would be SO AWESOME!!! If you go there, you have to hike in.

Click on any photo to see the larger image.

Edge of the Park
As you come into the park there is still desert vegetation around.

Edge of the Park
Slowly the sand does take over and the plants thin out a lot.

Dunes getting more sandy
If you click the photo you see a car in the picture and footprints on the dunes to the right of the car.

Two trail signs
I decided to go out on the hiking trail. As you can see, the wind blows the dunes around big time.

Panorama 1
1 of 2 panorama shots.

Panorama 2
2 of 2 panorama shots.

Walking around, I saw piles of rocks around here and there.
Finally, a sign!

Sign Close Up
Way out toward the halfway point of the trail there was a sign explaining the rocks and the ants I was seeing. I wondered how ants could live out here and got the answers here. Interesting, and I even saw a spider on the sand near some bushes.

Ants and Rocks
A close up shows ants (top center) and a hole into the sand.

Ants, Rocks and Tunnels
Even closer, you can see a hole in the sand again with a few ants.

Becoming Desolate
Vegetation gets more sparse...

Dunes for miles
until all you see around is sand.

Coming to the Edge of the Dune Field
Way out on the edge of the dunes you come to the military base.

White Sands Testing Range
Off in the distance there are many buildings for the test range.

Me at the other end of the Dunes
As I got to the edge of the dunes I took the picture above and the picture at the top of the page. Despite the thunder over the mountain in the distance, the area around me was dry and not too hot (95 degrees).
Here I am next to yet another buried trail sign.

The Trail turns 90 degrees and back we go

Out at the halfway point you come to the edge of the dune field. The sign posts continue straight to the bush on the middle right. Then the trail turns 90 degrees to the left. On the larger photo you can see the sign posts that form the trail, including the one that shows the way for the trail as it goes off on the left side of the photo.

I also have a very large version of the above photo linked here.

Large sand hill made by wind and vegitation

On the way back there are a few large towers of sand. The vegetation keeps the sand stacked up against the wind. This is the largest one I saw. It is probably about 60 to 75 feet tall.

Please do not use any image on this page without my permission.