Lake Lucero

White Sands National Monument 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 Monument 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 Monument offers reservations one month in advance for guided tours throughout the year.


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

2020 Lake Lucero tour dates are January 25, February 22, March 21, April 25, November 21, and December 26.

Select a date to see a list of times

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