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Trip Guide: Alamogordo

Explore the mysteries of the Earthand the universein Alamogordo . 

POPULATION :: 31,283

ELEVATION :: 4,336′

WEB ::

CONTACT :: (575) 439-4100  

Explore the mysteries of the Earth—and the universe—in Alamogordo.

Things get elemental at White Sands National Monument, where geological time moves at the pace of a desert box turtle. From there, Alamogordo whips visitors across the centuries and into space. Buckle up! It’s going to be a thrilling ride.

Alamogordo - Travel Planner - White Sands
Above: White Sands National Monument. Photograph courtesy of City of Alamogordo.


1. A Great National Treasure
Look west from Alamogordo and you’ll see the 275-square-mile shimmer of white gypsum sand dunes. Head into the White Sands National Monument to “sled” down the slopes, capture award-winning photographs, and learn about the evolution of animals to this fierce and beautiful landscape.

2. New Mexico Museum of Space History
We’re going to the moon! Check out the history of the Apollo program, along with Robert Goddard’s New Mexico–based rocketry experiments. Travel back in time with Gordodon, an ancient reptile fossile discovered near here. Save time to suit up the family in space gear for Insta-worthy shots.

3. White Sands Missile Range Museum
In 1949, America entered the Space Age with a rocket test at White Sands Missile Range. Today, you can wander through more than 50 rockets and missiles tested here, plus learn how NASA launches rockets today to learn more about the sun, stars, and microgravity.

Alamogordo - Travel Planner - Planetarium
Above: The New Horizons Dome Theater and Planetarium. 
Photograph courtesy of City of Alamogordo.

4. New Horizons Dome Theater and Planetarium
Walk on the moon, check out stars, and visit black holes in the jaw-dropping reality of the Space History Museum’s theater. Shows launch throughout the day, but be forewarned: You may never want to come back to Earth.

5. Sunspot Solar Observatory
Don’t stare at the sun—unless you’re looking through the Dunn Solar Telescope. Take a scenic drive into the Sacramento Mountains to see it at one of the nation’s premier solar research facilities. Enjoy a guided tour but remember to look down, too: The Tularosa Basin rolls gloriously to the far horizon.

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For more ideas on what to do in New Mexico, check out our Travel page or our monthly calendar of events.





Weekend Warrior: Alamogordo

Famous for the otherworldly White Sands National Monument, south-central New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin abounds with unexpected charms, from ancient petroglyphs to Space Age artifacts to one of the best little steakhouses in the state. By Andrew Collins

The Legend of La Luz

La Luz Pottery briefly gleamed near Alamogordo. Its legend ignites the desires of collectors. By Kate Nelson

The Mysteries of the Sands

White Sands National Monument is more than a great place to play. Among its shifting dunes, scientists are unearthing an ancient history teeming with mammoths, dire wolves, and sloths.
By Tim Vanderpool