Southern entrance to White Sands. Goto the visitor center for the park, hikes, and picnic area. That is where the fee is collected.
Who would have thunk that a person would turn land that was a test dummy for missile ordinance, and turn it into a park (I think it was actually a missile base)? White Sands National Monument has a formula and made it a beach without water, with 3 or 4 covered picnic grill areas with around 10 tables each. $5 entrance fee. And you get to sled on the white gypsum dunes.
Interesting effect to note. When sand brushes against you from the wind, there seems to be a static build up. You will zap yourself from the discharge on a metal object when it is windy and dusty.
There are several trails. The easiest is the dune overwalk, to introduce you to the environment. The rest are hiking trails represented by suits in a card deck, each with increasing distance and difficulty. They emphasize water and sun protection for the hikers. (4/5 self-rated for tourists)
Trinity Test site is nearby, on north side of White Sands. This is where the first nuclear detonation occurred. I wanted to see it, but unintentionally skipped this site, on way to Albuquerque, when the stupid program (no biscuits for the crack programmers!) told me it would be shorter to goto Albuquerque first, then go back to site. It’s just a obelisk, so I’m not adding a hundred miles to see it. Who knows, it might be a good thing. If coming from Roswell, then going to Trinity site, I might end up in Albuquerque glowing.