Hiking these dunes is very different than one experiences on other dunes. Where, on dunes along our coasts and places like Death Valley you sink into the sand, here you don’t. The “sand” at White Sands is not the typical ground up rock that we normally associate with dunes. It is primarily gypsum (hence the “white”) which has more of the consistency of hard packed snow.
A relatively high water table is what anchors White Sands in place. It also makes possible the ability of plant life, like this yucca species, to take hold.
All Photographs © 2019 Sharon Lobel Photography or John Grusd Photography. All Rights Reserved.