Day trips: Alamogordo makes for spontaneous day

By Mike Jimenez: Freedom Newspapers

Where in New Mexico can you surf the pristine white sand dunes in the morning, stroll the New Mexico Museum of Space History in the afternoon, and save that show at the IMAX theater for last?

Where else, but in Alamogordo.

Located in the Tularosa basin and surrounded by the majestic Organ, San Andres and Sacramento mountain ranges, Alamogordo makes for a varied and spontaneous day.

Where is it?
Alamogordo is located approximately 250 miles west of the Clovis/Portales area on Highway 70.

Driving time is about three hours one way. The highway will take you to all the way to Alamogordo and to White Sands National Park, which is about 20 to 30 minutes west.

What to do?
It is best to arrive early at the White Sands National Park; it can be very hot in the afternoon.

The Visitor Center and facilities are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. while the Dunes Drive are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Large plastic disks for sliding down the dunes can be purchased locally.

A small fee is required to enter the park.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is in Alamogordo, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the week.

Built in 1980, IMAX is a 40-foot diameter tilted dome theater and planetarium that houses a Spitz 512 projector that can project 2,400 stars, five visible planets, the sun, and the moon.

Currently showting at IMAX are “Volcanoes of the Deep Sea” and “Lewis and Clark.”

Information:
Call the White Sands National Park at (505) 679-2599 or (505) 479-6124, or visit the Web site at www.nps.gov/whsa.
Call the New Mexico Museum of Space History for reservations or information at (505) 437-2840 or e-mail RChanez@dca.state.nm.us