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. The 2022 full moon series begins Sunday, May15, and will continue each month on the full moon until October 10.

And, bonus, the first Full Moon Nights will take place during a Total Lunar Eclipse, which will be visible in El Paso and Southern New Mexico. More on that below.

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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 like there were pre-covid.

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 as before.

See the Total Lunar Eclipse at White Sands

Miguel Vigil
Miguel Vigil
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The first of two lunar eclipses in 2022 -- the Blood Moon -- takes place on Sunday, May 15.

According to the website timeanddate.com, it will be visible in our area beginning at 8:27 p.m. and, if the sky is clear, we will be able to see it go from partial to full eclipse for the duration of Full Moon Nights' extended hours.

Al Baeza
Al Baeza
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A near-total eclipse was visible from El Paso last November.

As only 98% of Earth's only natural satellite was obscured it wasn’t a true Blood Moon, but it’s reddish tint was still a sight to behold as evidenced by photos like the ones above that made the rounds on social media.

2022 White Sands National Monument Full Moon Nights

White Sands National Park Facebook
White Sands National Park Facebook
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Park closing times will be extended on the six summer full moons, May through October.

• Sunday, May 15 (Total Lunar Eclipse)
Park Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• Monday, May 16
Park Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• Tuesday, June 14
Park Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• Wednesday, July 13
Park Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• Friday, August 12
Park Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• Saturday, September 10
Park Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• Monday, October 10
Park Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Entrance Fee

White Sands normal park entrance fees apply. No advanced reservations or tickets are required.

The Breathtaking Beauty of White Sands National Park

El Paso Looking Green & Lush