White Sands National Monument Backcountry Camping near Alamogordo New Mexico offers 10 primitive hike in tent camping sites in one of the most unique and beautiful camping destinations in the Continental United States. The ten sites are spread out along a 1 mile section of the 2 mile loop appropriately named “Backpackers Loop” accessible from a marked and designated parking area near the end of the park access road. Permits are required for these sites and specific rules are strictly enforced to ensure the preservation of this unique habitat.

    For back country campers or even novices the accessibility of the campsites are part of their draw. The nearest sites are only @1 mile hike from the parking area. Once there you will feel worlds away from anyone (all while having full cell coverage and data!).

    The gypsum sand dunes are one of the wonders of the world. Home to a rare mix of natural wildlife the opportunity to camp in this location is a little known but wildly amazing experience. Sunsets and sunrises are spectacular over the white gypsum dunes and depending upon overnight winds you may awake to freshly groomed dunes void of any human footprints. Night skies are generally crystal clear with little to no light pollution for amazing star gazing.

    There is an additional fee for camping and it is a per person fee for campers and as noted above permits are required and available ONLY on a first come first served basis. The permitting process is an important planning variable as the NPS has a rather arcane method of requiring you to return to the visitor center each day to renew your permit and permitting times vary by season (check their website for current schedules and rules).

    There is no water, no picnic tables, no fires allowed and no restrooms (a pit toilet is available at the parking area). You must pack out what you pack in (and that includes your bodily wastes unless you properly bury it). Pets ARE allowed but must be leashed. The Monument closes in the evening and you will be locked in until the next morning.

    Each of the 10 sites is located on a spur off the main trail. The site locations are always down in the flats below the dunes and are marked with posts; you must camp within 50 ft of the posts and should look to avoid damaging any natural vegetation.

    For an incredibly unique, beautiful and memorable camping experience White Sands National Monument Backcountry Camping is a definite must.