If you’re looking to get out of El Paso for a day trip or an overnighter and you’re the kind of person who likes to plan ahead, consider visiting White Sands during a full moon this summer.

White Sands National Park is getting ready to host their annual Full Moon Nights beginning in May. This year’s full moon series begins Wednesday, May 26, 2021, and will continue each month on the full moon until October 21.

But while the monument’s popular series will provide visitors late-night access to the park, there will not be any live entertainment, ranger programs and other typical Full Moon night events, including park ranger-led Full Moon Hikes, this year according to the national park’s website.

Government-run parks are currently in phased-in mode so many have not returned to full operations, and services remain limited.

Park closing times will be extended on the six summer full moons, May through October. On these nights, there will be no programs or concerts for the summer of 2021 - White Sands National Park

However, the entire dunes area will be open, so you can still play in the gypsum sand when the sun isn’t at peak skin melting degrees, and you can still experience the beautiful sunsets, see the moon rise, and chill under the magical glow of the full moon.

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White Sands National Monument Full Moon Nights 2021

• Wednesday, May 26, 2021
• Thursday, June 24, 2021
• Saturday, July 24, 2021
• Monday, August 23, 2021
• Tuesday, September 21, 2021
• Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Breathtaking Beauty of White Sands National Park

How to Get There

White Sands National Monument, located southwest of Alamogordo off U.S. Hwy. 70, is about a 90-minute drive from El Paso.A park entrance fee of $5 per individual over 16 will apply.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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