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Thread: White Sands NM

  1. #1
    Single Speed Junkie
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    White Sands NM

    Was in White Sands the other day with the family sledding. I could not help but think that a fat bike on the dunes there would be a great ride. Anyone ever ridden their fat bike at White Sands? and if so how did it go?

  2. #2
    Harmonius Wrench
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    I doubt you can ride a bicycle except for on the designated roads there. (I've been there too with my kids sledding. It was a blast!) Anyway, here's a bit from the National Monuments FAQ:

    "Can I ride my bicycle in a NM?

    Typically, bicycles are allowed on routes identified as open to that use. Because each NM is designated uniquely, conditions of use may vary."

    I'd be floored if they allowed anything but hikers through there and then only on designated routes. The nature hike I took through there indicated that the Park Officials felt White Sands was a pretty fragile ecosystem.

  3. #3
    Dr Gadget is IN
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    Years ago, they were fairly lax about it - but now it's posted all over "stay on trails", mainly phrased for hikers. They have no idea about fatbikes.

    The FAQ just says
    "Q. Are ATVs and off-road driving permitted in the park?

    No. All vehicles must be street-legal and stay on designated roads. The mission of the National Park Service is to protect the environment, and off-road driving damages the fragile desert ecosystem."

    If you pull up the Group Use Permit, it says:
    Vehicle Operations * All vehicles must remain on the established roadway - blacktop and sand road inclusive - or hardpacked parking surface. Vehicles are not permitted on the sand dunes. No vehicle travel off the established roadway will be permitted. Vehicles include but are not limited to: cars, trucks, motor homes, motorcycles, and bicycles."

    OTOH, you can park and start walking and do what you want for the most part - but they would def freak out if you went 4-wheelin' with a truck or quad. I live just an hour away, and keep meaning to go visit with the fatbike in the back just to see what they'd say. I know that once you get away from the trampled areas there is a lot of crust (and it feels cool to your feet even in summer when the loose "sand" is hot. Maybe I'll try it for the Solstice Ride, even if I have to stay on the "road".
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  4. #4
    addicted to chunk
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    I was in nm for work couple years ago, before I had the fatty. The trails i rode sure seemed like a fat bike would have been fun! Cool area down there.
    Riding.....

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. White Sands was a fun trip. Wife wanted to try the new car "Xterra" off road there, but I think 95% or better of 4wds would just sink. Needless to say we stayed on the beaten path. Would like to keep the national parks around for generations to come.

  6. #6
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    Are you saying that you sled on the sand?

  7. #7
    Harmonius Wrench
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Are you saying that you sled on the sand?
    Yes. And it isn't really "sand" in a traditional sense. Sleds work fantastically well on the gypsum dunes, actually. The park headquarters sells and rents saucers for kids to use and that's where we got ours when we were there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted View Post
    Yes. And it isn't really "sand" in a traditional sense. Sleds work fantastically well on the gypsum dunes, actually. The park headquarters sells and rents saucers for kids to use and that's where we got ours when we were there.
    That's cool! So I would guess that you are not talking about traditional sleds with runners, but flat bottom types like saucers or toboggans?

    I have driven through White Sands a few times. The first time I thought I was hallucinating when I saw some African Oryx or Impala or something. A freaky sight for sure!

  9. #9
    Dr Gadget is IN
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    The first time I thought I was hallucinating when I saw some African Oryx or Impala or something. A freaky sight for sure!
    I've been on a few organized rides on the White Sands Missile Range - the preride discussion includes both unexploded ordinance and DON'T MESS WITH THE ORYX! They "grew up" with lions in africa - you are small potatoes. They can ram those horns thru the side of a car. But they are pretty.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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