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New Mexico Paranormal Experiences: White Sands

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Top 10 New Mexico Experiences

#10: New Mexico Paranormal Experiences: White Sands

New Mexico is known for its otherworldly landscapes, geological wonders and diverse, ancient history. But New Mexico is also known for otherworldly visitors & paranormal phenomena. That's why we are launching a series of New Mexico Paranormal Experiences this month...featuring the best of our natural & supernatural worlds.

Our first Paranormal Experience is White Sands. You can stay in a haunted hotel, or camp in an area that has a high occurrence of UFO sightings. The primary destination is White Sands National Park...the site of one of the world's most famous alien abduction & mutilation cases in history. Not to mention being one of New Mexico's most intriguing geological destinations.

Where to stay

Paranormal Activities

Drive by Holloman Air Force Base, the site of a reported alien abduction & mutilation in 1957. Then continue into White Sands National Park, one of the natural wonders of the world! There are countless ways to enjoy the park, from hiking & biking to sledding on the sand dunes! We highly recommend attending The Full Moon Night Event, truly a unique and magical experience.

Recommended Apps for this Experience

GhostTube SLS

Ghost Tube allows you to record your paranormal investigations with the latest investigative techniques and tools. Many of the features included provide similar functionality to common paranormal tools and equipment.

Ghost Hunting Tools

Ghost Hunting Tools, available for iPhone and Android, includes an EMF reader that detects fluctuations in the electromagnetic field, and an EVP recorder, which picks up electronic voice phenomena — things IRL ghost hunters rely on to detect otherworldly spirits. It uses a 1000-word dictionary to help you guess the intention of the spirit. And while the app says it’s just for fun, the reviews claim otherwise. One June 2021 review is titled, in all-caps, “100% REAL.”

The Lodge at Cloudcroft

This magnificent New Mexico hotel and resort possesses a quality unlike any other retreat. From its ghostly inhabitants to its storied past, our resort offers a haunting presence that can be felt to your very core.

The Story Of Rebecca’s Ghost At The Lodge

"There is a popular legend at The Lodge that dates back to the early 1900’s. The account that has been related through the years involves a beautiful young chambermaid with striking blue eyes and shocking red hair who disappeared from her quarters after her lumberjack lover found her in the arms of another.

Although we might not have seen her, there are those who vow that Rebecca still wanders the halls of this historic hotel. It has been said that ashtrays have been seen sliding across tables unassisted, doors open and close for no apparent reason, furniture has been moved, lights have turned on and off by themselves, and fires have spontaneously ignited in the fireplace among other unexplained incidents that occur to this day. Guests and employees continue to relate odd incidents that they attribute to Rebecca’s spirit, though none of them are threatening or frightening, but more of the fun and playful nature. There are some who believe that Rebecca is in search of a new lover or friend who might appreciate her flirtatious and mischievous ways." Source:

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

Set against the dramatic Sacramento Mountains, this park features a historic ranch house, quiet camping in the Chihuahuan Desert, and pools of water under the cottonwood trees of Dog Canyon. Springs flow year-round and ferns cling to the sides of mossy rocks. The water in Dog Canyon has attracted people to the area for millennia.

The campground, just southwest of the mouth of Dog Canyon, is dry and rocky with desert grasses, mesquite, ocotillo, creosote, yucca, and various species of cacti. The sites vary widely in elevation offering privacy and incredible views across the Tularosa Basin. Reservation and first come first served sites are available. Group camping is available. Please call the park office to reserve the group area.

Travel Tips:

  • Peak season for the park is October through April

  • Park Elevation 4,400 ft

  • We are the closest campground to White Sands National Park (30 min. / 27 miles)

  • The park makes an excellent base for day trips

Holloman AFB

On your way into White Sands, you will drive past Holloman AFB. One of the most shocking cases involved an Air Force sergeant allegedly abducted by a saucer-like aircraft in March, 1957.

Alien Abduction and Mutilation: "This bizarre case involved two military personnel searching the desert for debris from a recent missile launch. One of the men reported seeing the other pulled up into a flying silver disk; three days later, the alleged abductee’s corpse was found 10 miles away, severely mutilated and drained of blood. Proof remains thin, resting largely on a "government report" that has reportedly vanished." -source:

White Sands National Park

Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world's largest gypsum dunefield. White Sands National Park preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield, along with the plants and animals that live here.

Recommended Activity

Enjoy the radiance of the dunes beneath a full moon with live music, ranger programs, and special guest presenters and artists. Full Moon Nights share the cultural legacy of Southern New Mexico and Northern Mexico, as well as the rich natural resources of White Sands National Park.

Check monthly calendar for Full Moon Events & other ranger programs

Reservations are not required.


Full moon night programs are held in the amphitheater (Evening Program Area), which is a 7-mile (11.27 km) drive from the fee station.


Program is free. Park entrance fees apply.

Program length

One to two hours.


There is an easy .25-mile (400 meters) walk from the parking area to the amphitheater. There are several gently sloping dunes in the amphitheater that may be climbed.


The amphitheater is an outdoor venue with a compact sand surface in most areas. For the full moon night programs, monument staff set up a wheelchair and stroller accessible ramp near the stage.

There are a limited number of designated spaces for persons with mobility concerns. Only vehicles displaying a disability placard or a disability license plate may park in these designated spaces.

Service animals are allowed in all park facilities open to the general public.


There are two portable restrooms in the amphitheater area. Vault toilets are also available in other areas throughout the park.


Seating is not provided at the amphitheater. You are encouraged to bring camp chairs, blankets, and coolers with food and drinks.Set up on the dunes that surround the amphitheater.


Pets are allowed as long as they are non-disruptive, on a leash no longer than six feet (2 m), and under physical control at all times. Pets, like humans, should leave only footprints. Pick up after your pet(s) and Leave No Trace. Pets are not allowed in the visitor center.

Programs may be canceled due to weather or missile range activities.

Weather at the park can vary drastically and change quickly. The decision to cancel a program due to weather is rarely made more than 30 minutes before the program start time. Call the park at 575-479-6124 ext. 236 if you would like to confirm that a program is still scheduled. If the program is canceled, it will not be re-scheduled.


The amphitheater opens for parking one hour before the program start time. Full moon nights are very popular; expect a high volume of traffic. Allow an additional 30 minutes to drive from the fee station to the amphitheater area. Park rangers will direct you where to park once you arrive. Please drive slow. When walking in and around the amphitheater area, please be mindful of moving vehicles and use the pedestrian walkways.

Once the amphitheater parking area is full, the lot will be closed, and no other vehicles will be allowed to enter. Additional parking is allowed in the nearby pullout areas, refer to the Dunes Drive map for additional parking areas.

At the end of the program, all vehicles must turn right when exiting to facilitate the orderly and safe departure from the amphitheater parking area.

Other Activities at White Sands

Cycling through the park offers unobstructed views of an ever-changing dunefield and allows your senses to truly experience the sights and sounds of this unique landscape. Visitors planning to explore by bicycle should be aware that bicycles are only allowed on Dunes Drive and not allowed on hiking trails or off-trail in backcountry areas. While bicycles are allowed on the road, it is not without its hazards. The scenic road lacks much of a shoulder and only the first five miles are paved. Obey traffic regulations and wear bright colors, protective clothing, and a helmet. Read more >

Dunes Drive, an eight-mile (13 km) scenic drive, leads from the visitor center into the heart of the gypsum dunefield. The 16-mile (26 km) round-trip drive takes approximately 45 minutes. However, you may want to allow additional time for taking walks in the white sand, photography, or learning about the natural and cultural history. The first four miles of Dunes Drive are paved and the last four miles are a hard-packed, gypsum road. The road is suitable for cars, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and buses. Along the road, you will find wayside exhibits, hiking trails, picnic areas, vault toilets, and parking areas. Read more>

A vast sea of snow-white gypsum dunes is beckoning you to go for a hike. There is no better way of experiencing the unique landscape of White Sands National Park than by venturing out onto any of our five established trails. Explore the dunes and enjoy the silence and solitude of the dunefield with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Plan ahead to ensure you have a great and safe hike. Remember, your safety is your responsibility. Read more>

Horses must be brought-in on a trailer, and you must have a horse permit signed by a ranger. Please read the following regulations before you arrive in the park.

A Junior Ranger activity book is waiting for you at the visitor center! Riley the roadrunner will guide you through fun-filled, age-appropriate activities for you and your family as you explore the world's largest gypsum dunefield. Once you have finished your activities, please return your book to a park ranger at the visitor center to be sworn in as an Official White Sands Junior Dunes Ranger! Read more>

Anyone can take good pictures at White Sands National Park, regardless if you are shooting with your phone or a top-of-the-line DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera. In our vast dunefield of varying shapes and angles, timeless vistas, and piercing contrasts, visitors are literally surrounded by compelling subjects to photograph. Great pictures, however, require techniques and way of looking at things that pros have learned. When choosing where to focus, pay attention to composition and lighting. Read more>

Picnicking in the park has been one of the all-time favorite things to do in the area for generations. Pick your own style of picnicking, a blanket with a shade umbrella;a tailgate;or use one of the many canopied picnic tables and grills available throughout the park. There are two picnic tables adjacent to the visitor center at the park entrance and three established picnic areas in the heart of the dunes near the end of the Dunes Drive, with 62 tables in total. These picnic sites are available only on a first-come, first-served basis. One group picnic area may be reserved in advance by organized groups. Read more>

Park rangers lead a variety of seasonally available programs and activities designed to help you experience the park in countless ways. Join a ranger and explore the mysteries of a geologic wonder sculpted by wind and water that preserves the ancient past and shelters an incredible diversity of plants and animals. Read more>

The powdery white gypsum dunes not only look like snow, they behave like it as well. Sledding down the slip face of dunes is a popular, exhilarating activity at White Sands National Park. Sledding is allowed in the loop portion of Dunes Drive, away from the road and where there is little or no vegetation. Most sledder's use waxed, plastic snow-saucers, which can be purchased at the park gift shop. Become familiar with proper sledding techniques and safety precautions.

Begin your visit at White Sands National Park in the historic visitor center. The visitor center is an excellent example of Spanish Pueblo-style adobe architecture, also known as "Pueblo-Revival," constructed on-site from 1936 to 1938 using readily-available, local materials. The visitor center is where you can obtain information on our daily programs; browse the park store and gift shop; wander through the native plant garden; explore the interactive museum; and be mesmerized by the incredible sights presented in our award-winning orientation film: A Land in Motion. Read more>

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