Roadtrip to the West - White Sands National Park

Roadtrip to the West (New Mexico - Arizona)

Part 2

(White Sands National Park)

Still overwhelmed by the beauty of this gigantic cave, we left in the afternoon for our next leg of the journey. We still had 150 miles or about 2 hours of driving ahead of us before we would arrive in El Paso, Texas. The goal was to arrive at our pre-booked hotel before nightfall, as we planned to explore the city a bit and have a good dinner tonight.

Finally, we were still in time and could set out to explore the city. The last time we were both in El Paso was a good 35 years ago and we wanted to find out how the city has changed in the meantime. We first drove towards "Mesa Street" where Pooneh had lived for some time. But wow, this city has changed a lot and we had trouble finding the old places again. Finally, we decided to take the Scenic drive and end the day with an amazing view over El Paso all the way into Mexico.

Day 5:

Well rested, we checked out of the hotel early the next day and did a few laps around the blocks to visit some more memorabilia sites in El Paso. Still in the morning, we drove on to White Sands National Park, which was also our main destination for the day. The drive continued back to New Mexico and via Las Cruces and the White Sands Missile Range, a missile training area of the US military, quickly to the main entrance of the "White Sands National Park".

Already from a distance, you could see the first outlines of this white desert. And the closer we came the more impressive was the view. Our tension and excitement could not be greater, because we had long planned to visit White Sands. We were lucky, during the week the waiting time for the entrance was not too long and with our "America the Beautiful Pass" we again saved the entrance fee of $30.

While the drive through the barren grasslands of New Mexico was already impressive, we were left breathless when we entered the National Park. White Sands National Park consists of a loop road that takes you through this desert landscape and offers numerous stops at the most desirable points. It was already a lot of fun to drive over the rough sandy road through this desert.

I had read a lot about White Sands and our plan was actually to do an extended hike through the gypsum sand desert to collect as many impressions as possible. However, since it was already noon and the March sun was already burning down on us, we decided to take a break at one of the numerous picnic areas and consume the delicious pastries we had brought from El Paso together with a good coffee. We were fortunately not dependent on the picnic tables provided, and so we looked for a quiet corner on the dune where we could build our own setting for the midday rest with our camper.

Later, when the temperatures became a little more pleasant, we packed up and continued on the loop past many viewpoints and numerous turnoffs to hiking trails. We decided to walk the "Alkali Flat Trail" which can be found at the back of the park and promised the best views. From the moderately used parking lot at the trailhead, the path should lead us directly into the untouched landscape along with distinctive trail markers

At first at the beginning of the way we met some hikers who either came to shoot their selfies in front of the amazing scenery or came back from the 5-mile round trip. The further we hiked over the sand dunes, however, the fewer people were to be seen, until we finally had the incredible landscape only for us. It was simply indescribable in this desert to have a panoramic view so breathtaking.

Although the initial ease of the hike with increasing distance and especially by walking over the loose sandy soil became more and more strenuous, we enjoyed every meter of the way. And who is surprised because our view was constantly distracted with new impressions of the desert.

Finally, we were exhausted and glad to get back to our motorhome in time, especially since we had to continue to Silver City today. There we wanted to arrive before nightfall because we had already pre-booked a KOA campground.