Nothing excites me more than a place that allows me to bring my dog. My dog loves traveling with me. Every time I get my suitcase out he knows I’m going out of town and usually shows signs of depression- it’s real. When I’m about to walk out the door and I can finally tell him he can come, he literally hops around with excitement and whines until we’re in the car.
I visited White Sands as a pit stop on a cross country road trip. It’s about an hour off I-10 in Southwest New Mexico. If you are passing through, or have a nearby destination such as El Paso, Roswell 👽, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, or Albuquerque, I highly suggest stopping here! If you are planning to see Carlsbad Caverns on the same day keep in mind that the last entry to the caves is at 2pm.
Sometimes, viral travel photos of gorgeous scenery are more beautiful than the destination is in person. That’s what I was expecting of White Sands. I was sorely mistaken, however. This place is just as beautiful as the photos you’ve seen. I was hoping to catch the sunrise or sunset, but for the sake of saving an extra day of driving, I had to pass. Could you imagine a cotton candy colored sky here?
I understand the limitations of bringing your pets onto protecting lands, and I do respect that. When your pets wander off trail it disturbs the natural environment. It can also, potentially harm native wildlife and/or your own pet. And of course you have to consider the other guests around you. Many people are allergic to dogs and are fearful of them. In White Sands, dogs are allowed everywhere in the park- which is extremely rare for federal and state parks.
You are required to keep them on leash, however. I did break this rule for a few photos, but my dog is an excellent listener. There were also no people anywhere near us and he stayed close to me the entire time. It can be extremely dangerous to have your dog wander away from you in the desert; scorpions and snakes live buried in these sands! If they are bitten by a venomous creature, you may not know until it’s too late.
It is common to see sleds, boogie boards, and sometimes snowboards when visiting sand dunes. It’s a great break from a long road trip for young kids too.
My dog, Riley, loved it here and I hope yours will too! Have you been to White Sands already? What was your favorite thing about this park? Comment below!
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