Note: White Sands National Park is closed until further notice as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Check the National Park Service website for updates on openings and closures.

America’s best idea got even better when White Sands National Monument was recently redesignated as White Sands National Park by the government. The park protects some 40 percent of the 275-square-mile gypsum dunefield – the world’s largest – stretching across New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin. The new designation is great news for nature lovers, says Dan Austin, founder and CEO of Austin Adventures, which offers national-park tours for families and adults. White Sands, which he describes as “one of the greatest wonders on earth,” became the 62nd park in the U.S. national system and the first addition since Indiana Dunes National Park in February 2019.

A picnic area at White Sands National Park.
A surreal picnic in the park at White Sands. (Getty Images)

“At a time when our parks are under constant scrutiny and challenges,” Austin adds, “it’s critical for future generations to set aside and protect as much as we can.” Your Virtuoso travel advisor can work with Austin Adventures on crafting a custom tour to White Sands.

Top Photo: Getty Images

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