Lake Lucero

White Sands National Park Tours

Have you ever wondered how the white sands formed and why Lake Lucero is often referred to as the birthplace of the dunes?

Take a tour to Lake Lucero with a park ranger and learn about the formation of the sands. Park rangers will share the geologic story of White Sands National Park as you traverse a steep gully down to the lake bed and walk by thousands of exposed selenite crystals, which are critical to the formation of the gypsum sand. Lake Lucero is a dry lake bed that only fills with water when there has been abundant rain or snow in the surrounding area.

The hike from the trailhead to the lake and back is 1.5 miles (2.41 km) long over rough desert terrain and washes. This hike is rated as moderate and the trail is not maintained. This trail is down an arroyo where the soil is loose and the terrain is uneven. The trail slopes gradually downhill toward the lake, which means the hike back to the vehicles is gently uphill. Leaving the tour early is prohibited. All guests must enter and leave with the caravan. Participants must be physically capable of walking the entire distance. White Sands National Park offers reservations in advance for guided tours throughout the year.

The park offers the Lake Lucero tours once a month November through March. Reservations are required to participate in the program. For more information, visit the park's website.     


2024/2025 Lake Lucero Tours:

Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 10:00 am

Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 10:00 am

Saturday, March 16, 2024 at 10:00 am

Saturday, November 23, 2024 at 10:00 am

Saturday, December 14, 2024 at 10:00 am

Saturday, January 11, 2025 at 10:00 am

Saturday, February 15, 2025 at 10:00 am

Saturday, March 15, 2025 at 10:00 am

Tickets are available two months before the tour date at 8:00 am mountain Time. For example, if the tour is on May 15, tickets will be available at 8:00 am MT on March 15. 

Please note that tickets often sell out within a matter of minutes. There is no waitlist for sold-out tours; however, if tickets are canceled, they will be immediately available here on

Select a date to see a list of times

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