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A Full Moon Night at White Sands is the kind of experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime. The magic and beauty of the white sand dunes in the last light of day and under the bright full moon inspire a powerful sense of communion with nature. The Full Moon Night programs are much more than an opportunity to see breathtaking horizons. They’re also exciting evenings that are filled with entertainment, culture, and music.

What You Need to Know

Full Moon Night programs take place for one to two hours, once a month, between May and October. Naturally, they are held on the night of the full moon, weather permitting (check Full Moon dates). You don’t have to make a reservation or pay a fee beyond the usual $5 entrance to the White Sands National Monument. It’s also easy to reach and access the outdoor amphitheater, even if you have wheelchairs or strollers to contend with.

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Montoya

There’s no seating, refreshments, or cover from the elements, so you’ll want to come prepared. Bring your own chairs, blankets, snacks, and drinks; dress wisely, and anticipate the possibility of sudden changes in weather. If you aren’t looking for easy access, act fast to register for a Full Moon hike before it fills up.

Meet the Wildlife of White Sands

One of the coolest things that many people don’t expect during Full Moon Nights is the amazing opportunity to see animals you don’t usually see. You’ll greatly increase your chances of seeing them if you go on the Full Moon Hike. As the moon rises, the nocturnal wildlife of the area start to come out of their hiding places and visitors have an opportunity to get unique photos, a recurring theme during most people’s visits to Full Moon Nights.

Beautiful Photography Opportunities

Photographing the wildlife during the hike is only the beginning. You’ll also have a chance to experience and capture the most awe-inspiring sunset and moonlight scenes you’ve ever encountered.


White Sands National Monument is an inspiration for many artists and photographers in the area.  Even amateur photographers manage to get powerful and thought-provoking photos of the brilliant sunsets and moonlit dunes. This is a memory that you’ll want to capture in film, so bring a good camera.

Culture & Entertainment

Beyond the incredible view, the spectacular photo opportunities, and the memorable wildlife experiences, visitors to White Sands National Monument during Full Moon Nights will also be entertained by the music, the events, and the culture of White Sands. You’ll learn about the history of the monument and its natural resources; you’ll hear from guest presenters and artists, depending on the night; and you’ll enjoy live music under the stars.

Few experiences that are more moving and romantic, so be sure to experience the fascinating, and exhilarating sights and sounds of Full Moon Nights at least once.  Then, share your experience and photography with us!

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