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Photo tour: White Sands National Park

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White Sands National Park is in southern New Mexico.
White Sands National Park is in southern New Mexico.
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The park sees hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, more than any other park service location in New Mexico.
The park sees hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, more than any other park service location in New Mexico.
Jesse Stephens, Getty Images/iStockphoto
In 2017, White Sands logged more than 600,000 visits and spurred more than $31 million in spending for the local economy.
In 2017, White Sands logged more than 600,000 visits and spurred more than $31 million in spending for the local economy.
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Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have created the world's largest gypsum dunefield.
Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have created the world's largest gypsum dunefield.
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The sand covers approximately 275 square miles.
The sand covers approximately 275 square miles.
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Efforts to establish a national park in the area go back more than a century
Efforts to establish a national park in the area go back more than a century
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President Donald Trump ’ s signature on defense legislation enacted by Congress means White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico is now White Sands National Park, according to the Associated Press.
President Donald Trump’s signature on defense legislation enacted by Congress means White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico is now White Sands National Park, according to the Associated Press.
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Backpackers hike at White Sands National Park.
Backpackers hike at White Sands National Park.
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Dunes with yucca in White Sands National Park at sunset.
Dunes with yucca in White Sands National Park at sunset.
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A walking stick cane cholla cactus grows in White Sands National Park.
A walking stick cane cholla cactus grows in White Sands National Park.
Jesse Stephens, Getty Images/iStockphoto
Primitive backcountry camping is an option in the heart of the dunes.
Primitive backcountry camping is an option in the heart of the dunes.
Picturist, Getty Images/iStockphoto
The monument is occasionally closed for periods of time due to missile tests on the adjacent White Sands Missile Range.
The monument is occasionally closed for periods of time due to missile tests on the adjacent White Sands Missile Range.
Picturist, Getty Images/iStockphoto
The weather in the Tularosa Basin is usually quite nice with clear, sunny skies for approximately 330 days out of the year, according to the National Park Service. Summers are hot with daytime temperatures averaging 97ºF in the summer and 60ºF in the winter.
The weather in the Tularosa Basin is usually quite nice with clear, sunny skies for approximately 330 days out of the year, according to the National Park Service. Summers are hot with daytime temperatures averaging 97ºF in the summer and 60ºF in the winter.
Picturist, Getty Images/iStockphoto
White Sands National Park has unusually harsh environmental conditions, even for the desert. But there are over 800 species of animals that call white sands their home.
White Sands National Park has unusually harsh environmental conditions, even for the desert. But there are over 800 species of animals that call white sands their home.
Picturist, Getty Images/iStockphoto
Tiny organisms called cyanobacterium layer themselves into a woven mat that forms the top surface of the soil in the areas between dunes.
Tiny organisms called cyanobacterium layer themselves into a woven mat that forms the top surface of the soil in the areas between dunes.
Picturist, Getty Images/iStockphoto
The sun sets through the clouds over White Sands National Park.
The sun sets through the clouds over White Sands National Park.
Johnvemery, Getty Images/iStockphoto
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