White Sand, Tularosa Basin

White Sands National Monument Park. A gigantic pile of white sand in the Tularosa Basin of south-central New Mexico.

The National Park Service says:

In addition to containing the world’s largest gypsum dunefield, including gypsum hearthmounds found nowhere else on earth, the park is home to the globe’s largest collection of Ice-Age fossilized footprints and tells more than 20,000 years of human presence,

Twenty-thousand years is a long time.

The Dunes

In much of the duned area, various plants attempt to grab hold of the dunes and hang on. Not sure what fraction of them survive.

As the dunes migrate they create some interesting formations.

The drifting is sufficient to require heavy equipment to keep the road through the dunes cleared.

There are not very many trees growing in the dunes. This one looks lonely .

I’ve been here several times and am always impressed by the contrast between the blue sky and white dunes.

The People

Nearly all of American was once occupied by other-than-Europeans. The Tularosa Basin is no exception, having been the home of the Apache for hundreds of years prior to the introduction of settlers and ranching. Conflict occurred. The U.S Army weighed in against the Apache, and now it’s not their home anymore. They can visit though.

The National Park Service also says:

Conflict between the Apaches and the American settlers over their conflicting interests in the Tularosa Basin ultimately ended in the forceful removal of the Apaches from the full extent of their ancestral homelands and their instatement on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation. The Mescalero Apache are the living descendants of the first Apache to settle here, and they maintain an active cultural affinity to the landscape of their ancestors.







One response to “White Sand, Tularosa Basin”

  1. Big Foot

    Also in this area is Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area
    (575) 627-0272
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/zsZGa9bJsKpkURRKA?g_st=ic A fort converted to TB sanatarium. Many historical sites in Capitan and Lincoln from the Billy the Kid, pre turn of the century, wild west.


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