Campsite Breakdown – Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Alamogordo, NM

Where we stayed:  Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

Why we went there:  We needed a base of operations for our time at White Sands.  The only camping they allow is back-country.  Oliver Lee is about a 25-30 minute drive to the Dunes.

How accessible for RV’s: You can fit about any sized rig in any site.  There are 44 total sites.  About 7 are reservable.  A lot of tilt to most of the sites because it’s in the foothills.  One note, if you have GPS, DO NOT turn on Taylor Ranch Rd like our Garmin and Google Maps told us to.  It becomes a dirt road that gets fairly rough.  If you follow the signs it will take you in on Dog Canyon Rd.  (We had to disconnect so I could turn the rig around and take Dog Canyon.)

Are there hookups:  There is a dump station/water on the left upon entering the park.  16 sites in loop A have 30amp and water hookups.  We stayed in loop B which has a few water spigots between sites and no electrical.  Love our solar panels!

How much does it cost:  For someone staying long-term in New Mexico, they have a great camping pass program.  As an out-of-state resident we could buy a pass for $225 which would allow us to camp every night for a year in a state park, with a 14 night limit per stay.  If we were going to be staying in the state for a while, it would be a heck of a deal.  As it was, we paid $10/ night for our site.  To get electrical it’s $14 ($4 with the annual pass).

Quiet Hours: 10pm-6am.  Wasn’t too big of an issue as most everyone was staying in loop A with electrical.  There was a generator running a few sites down, but it could really only be heard when we were outside.

Why we loved it:  Pretty cheap, with the option to be unbelievably cheap.  Sites were nice and spread out.  Right at the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains.   Dog Canyon hike leaves from the visitor center.  Free warm showers.  Close proximity to White Sands National Monument.  Lots of rabbits.  Potential for other wildlife too, we just didn’t see any.

Things we didn’t like:  Just so I have something to put here, I would say the sites could be more level on a whole, and quite hours could be longer 😉

Would we go back if in the area: Yes

View of our campsite.
View of our campsite.
Sunrise over the Sacramento Mountains
Sunrise over the Sacramento Mountains
Arial shot of the campground taken from Dog Canyon Trail You can faintly see it if you zoom in at the valley.
Arial shot of the campground. (Taken from Dog Canyon Trail)
Saw about a dozen of these guys at night. It's a little eerie because they eyes reflect light, so it's easy to spot them if you just sweep a light around.
Saw about a dozen of these guys at night. It’s a little eerie because they eyes reflect light, so it’s easy to spot them if you just sweep a light around.
A pool of water on the nature trail near the visitors center.
A pool of water on the nature trail near the visitors center.
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A Few Days at White Sands National Monument

After Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Park we headed to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.  Michael had been wanting to go for a long time and we finally made it out of Texas even if the RV tried to stop us at every turn.  Here are some of our favorite photos from the few days we went out there.  It’s like being in another world.

Pictures taken from the Interdune Boardwalk:

white sands boardwalk white sands boardwalk 2again boardwalk

Pictures from the Alkali Flats Trail:

We did the Alkali Flats Trail and, while it was only 4.6 miles long, it was strenuous.  You’re hiking up and down steep dunes without shade for a few hours.  We started the hike around 9:30am and it got hot.  The views do make the hike worth it.  All around you are white rolling hills like waves frozen in time.  I think if we ever did it again we would go first thing in the morning when the park opens.

hike 5
You can see the posts marking the way for the hike in the center of the picture.
hike 4
The soil became compacted from the plant growing through it.

hike 2 hike 3

Sunset Pictures

sunset two sunset sunset again

The next series of photos is Michael starting his modeling career.  This is fair warning to stop unless you want to see some slightly silly but supermodel worthy photos.

 

You’ve been warned.

 

I call these next set of photos–From around the frame, ole blue eyes

michale modeling 3

4michael 4

And this set–That guy that sat on the dunes and took off his hat

578

White Sands Sledding- The dog wants to do it too

 

rachel and spicy
Rachel at the top of the sledding hill.
getting ready to sled
Michael getting ready to sled.

A popular thing to do at White Sands National Monument is to sled down the dunes.  You can buy a sled at the gift shop next to the Visitor’s Center and sell it back for a fraction of the price when you’re done.  Our sled was around $16 and we sold it back for $5.  There are also blocks of wax you can buy for around $2 or $3.  You rub the wax on the bottom of the sled and and it increases your speed.  It’s also helpful to find an area where someone else has already packed the sand down for you.  This was more fun than we expected and our dog Rachel wanted to join in as well.

rache l

rachel and spicy
It was a good night.