It’s About Time – White Sands Named America’s 62nd National Park

White Sands is one of the most stunning landscapes in the United States.  Not only is it the largest collection of sand dunes in the United States, but the beautiful white, gypsum sand dunes are also some of the most unique sand dunes found anywhere in the world.  While gypsum is one of the most common minerals on the planet, because it easily dissolves in water, it is very rarely found on the surface of the ground.  These unique and amazing traits made White Sands worthy of becoming a National Monument back in 1933.

White Sands National Monument-5814

However, ever since it was given National Monument status there have been people who have argued that White Sands should have national park status.  If you think about it, the arguments have always made sense.  The primary distinction between National Park and National Monument status is the purpose for which the land is being protected.  National Parks are designed to protect lands for their scenic, inspirational, education, and recreational value.  On the other hand, National Monuments are designated to protect lands because of their historical, cultural, and/or scientific interest.

White Sands National Monument-5821

While White Sands probably qualifies for protection both because of its beauty and recreational value as well as its scientific significance, the arguments no longer need to be made for making White Sands a national park because it was just named the 63rd national park in the United States.  If you would like to learn more about America’s newest national park and how to visit this amazing landscape, I have included a link to my White Sands National Park Visitor Guide below for you to review.

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Categories: Mountain Parks, National Parks, National Parks News and Opinions, New Mexico, North America, Travel, United StatesTags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. Looks incredible Josh. I heard about this on another blog too. I bet it would make the most amazing photographs, especially at dawn and dusk.

  2. Good news, though I think I’m glad we visited before this change. I bet it’ll be more crowded going forward. Thanks for the update!

  3. Great news! I remember visiting when I was a kid and loved it. Time to go back – thanks for letting us know!

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