Seeing white colored sand on beaches is certainly a great site to watch but seeing it in a basin in the middle of New Mexico is even more spectacular. Right in the middle of Tularosa Basin, a great expanse of white colored sands rises and glistens in the sun every single day. Really a marvel of nature, this huge 270 square mile expanse of white sands is one of the most beautiful sights you will ever come across in your whole life. Called the White Sands National Monument, it is home to the largest deposit of gypsum crystals in the whole world and also the largest singular field with that amount of gypsum in it. The place is considered to be of a very unique nature and it is this characteristic of this place that has made it a very popular spot for tourism in New Mexico. The stature of National Monument however was not easy to gain and a lot of time and effort was required to save this place from the prying eyes of commercial investors who wanted to utilize the vast gypsum reserves for their own profit. Currently it is protected by the US Legislation and the National Park Service is responsible for administering all tourist activity in the area. Read on to find out more about why this place is one of the most interesting tourist spots in all of New Mexico.
The white colored gypsum sands have been there for nearly 10,000 years but in the beginning of the 20th century, commercial entities tried their best to make a business out of the gypsum reserves available here. But since there was not real worth placed for raw gypsum, it failed quite clearly and by the year 1920, the local residents began to realize what the real worth of this place was. Even though the idea of turning this place into a national monument was quite simply the best thing that could be done to this place, it took a lot of people and effort before it finally happened under the administration of President Hoover.
One of the most important aspects of this place is the role it played for the military after the Pearl Harbor Attacks. It was used for military training and missile testing, the latter still being done from time to time where the military asks the National Park Service to close down the area for tourist entry. As a result, not only does it benefit the military but also ensures that the area remains protected as no development can be done in this area because of military presence.
Currently the dunes are one of the most visited tourist spots in New Mexico and there are a lot of fun opportunities in the park that can be found there. The first and foremost is the visitor center of the White Sands National Monument that has seen several major changes during its life time. The most recent one was done in 2011 and the focus of that renovation was to make it as much visitor friendly as possible by providing a lot of different activities for people of all ages. As for the sand dunes themselves that comprise this majestic landscape, there are several activities that are arranged there for visitors all year round.
One very important aspect of the dunes is its importance to researchers. There is a lot of interest shown by the geological community in the area and several studies have been conducted on the uniqueness of these sands. In fact the very first study came out at the end of the 19th century when there wasn’t even proper interest in this area for recreational purposes.
Visiting the White Sands National Monument is a great way of experiencing a rare natural phenomenon and with the different activities that are provided for the visitors in this place, it is impossible to not go there for an amazing day trip. So pack your bags and roll out.