White Sands National Monument is an amazing place in the southern part of New Mexico. Not really sand at all, the dunes are made of gypsum. The gypsum is from the nearby mountain ranges. While typically the gypsum would be dissolved by the water and eliminated via water run-off, this place is different. The water here runs into a basin where there is no outlet. Once the water seeps into the ground, the gypsum is left in crystallized form.
The dunes it forms are amazingly tall. The day we went, kids were sledding down the sides and scrambling up to the top again. We looked at the evidence showing how the dunes moved over time.
But sunset makes this place magical. The light brings out the colors of the area. People wandered among the plants snapping photos where shadows formed that previously had none. Items in silhouette were stunning against the desert sky.
labels: national park, usa, white sands
location: white sands national monument, 19955, alamogordo, nm 88310, usa