Fun Facts

    Alamogordo means big cottonwood or "fat tree", Gordo = fat; alamo = tree, poplar, or cottonwood. Our current population is approximately 35,582 based on the 2000 Census. This is a thriving city transformed from a railroad, ranching and farming hamlet into a progressive vibrant community, intertwined with our military neighbors of Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range. Our area is rich in history and natural wonders as the gateway to: White Sands National Monument, New Mexico Museum of Space History, Clyde W. Tombaugh Planetarium and Omnimax Theater, Lincoln National Forest, Oliver Lee State Park, Alameda Park Zoo, and the Toy Train Depot.

Welcome to the Lincoln National Forest

Located in south-central New Mexico, the Lincoln National Forest is known as the birthplace of the world-famous Smokey Bear, the living symbol of the campaign to prevent forest fires. The original bear, found in 1950 in the Capitan Mountains is buried in Capitan, New Mexico.

The Lincoln National Forest ranges in elevation from about 4,500' to over 11,000' with vegetation zones ranging from desert cactus to tall timber at the higher elevations. With such a variety, there is something to do during all seasons.

Uniquely the Lincoln National Forest

Home of Smokey Bear - The world-famous Smokey Bear began as an animated symbol and in 1950 became a real symbol when a tiny, burned and frightened bear cub was rescued clinging to a tree in the Capitan Mountains on the Lincoln National Forest.

Home of Smokey Bear

The world-famous Smokey Bear began as an animated symbol and in 1950 became a real symbol when a tiny, burned and frightened bear cub was rescued clinging to a tree in the Capitan Mountains on the Lincoln National Forest.

White Sands National Monument

Like No Place Else on Earth

Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Here, dunes have engulfed 275 square miles of desert creating the world's largest gypsum dunefield.

White Sands National Monument preserves this dunefield, along with the plants and animals that have adapted to this constantly changing environment.

Teacher Ranger Teacher

The Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) program links NPS units with in-service teachers from public and private schools. Teachers selected for the program spend the summer working in national parks as park rangers. They perform various duties depending on their interests and the needs of the parks.

The 2011 TRT program for each of the area parks is an 8-week program beginning in early June. All teachers receive an NPS uniform, and a $300 per week stipend for participating in the program. Please note applications are due on January 26, 2011. Specific questions about each site and its program should be directed to the contact person.

Apply to be a Teacher-Ranger-Teacher this summer! Please remember applications are due by January 26, 2011.

White Sands is an unique resource encompassing the largest gypsum dune field in the world. The TRT will be a full time park ranger in the Interpretation and Education Division performing traditional duties such as nature walks, patio talks, and staffing the visitor center information desk. The TRT will also write several short plays for the 'Sand Dune Puppet Theatre' & develop lesson plans with activities for teachers to use with their students at the monument when a ranger is not available. RV spots available; park housing may be available.

Con tact: Kathy Denton, Education Specialist
Phone: (575) 679-2599 ext. 231

Put on the Ranger uniform for the summer and work at Gila Cliff Dwellings! Our TRT will develop and conduct guided tours of area archeological sites including the Mimbres Culture Historic Site, and participate in outreach efforts thorough local museums and archaeological sites. The selected teacher will receive training in Southwestern archeology and housing will be provided.

Contact: Steve Riley, Superintendent
Phone: (575) 536-9461
Email: |

Guadalupe Mountains National Park TRT will develop and teach children's summer programs, work in the visitor center, present interpretive talks, write curriculum, work on distance learning with the Sea to Shining Sea program, and rove park trails. The primary position will be located at the Pine Springs Visitor Center but there may be other opportunities for programs at remote sites. RV spots with hook-ups and/or shared park housing is available.

Contact: Craig Tanner, Interpretation Ranger
Phone: (915) 828-3251
Email: l

The TRT at Carlsbad Caverns National Park will assist with ParKids, a three-week summer day camp for kids 7-15. Run the Kids Korner, a park based activity center for kids Pre-K and up. The TRT will also aid in the development and revision of curriculum-based school activities for all grades, and help create a Junior Ranger book for visitors 13 and up. They will also give orientations to large groups, prepare educational fee waivers, and prepare materials for programming. Park housing may be available.

Contact: Helen Fields, Education Specialist
Phone: (575) 785-312

For Kids!

White Sands National Monument
Be A Junior Ranger

Become a Junior Dunes Ranger When You Visit!

The Junior Dunes Ranger program is a program for kids visiting the park with their families. It is a way to learn more about White Sands National Monument and the National Park Service and have fun at the same time. It's also a way that kids can help the park rangers take care of national parks.

There are four different age/developmental level activity guides: preschool (ages 4 -5), ages 6 - 8, ages 9 - 13, and age 14 and over. The activity guides have all kinds of different things in them. There are puzzles, coloring pages, scavenger hunt bingo, activities on desert safety, the visitor center, wildlife, nature manners, trails, and many more.

Pick up your free Junior Ranger activity booklet at the Visitor Center. Complete the activities and earn a Junior Dunes Ranger patch and certificate.

Earn Your Badge with a Ranger this Summer!
Saturdays at 9 am, June 18 through August 6, 2011

Join a ranger on the visitor center patio for fun activities and become a Junior Ranger while learning about White Sands. The program is approximately one hour long. Parents must remain present with their children at all times.

Did You Know?
Some species of plants can survive burial by a moving dune by a process called "stem elongation." As the sand rises, the plants quickly grow upward to keep their leaves above the rising sand

Full Moon Nights

May 2011
Randy Granger
8:30 pm Tuesday, May 17
Native American Flutist Randy Granger will fill the moonlit night with his unique blend of instruments, interpretation of traditional melodies, and heartfelt music. Join this native New Mexican for a relaxing summer evening.

June 2011
Ralph Estes
8:30 pm Wednesday, June 15
In collaboration with the New Mexico Humanities Council, Ralph Estes will present an evening of cowboy songs and stories. Ralph, accompanied by the guitar and the autoharp, will lead you on a journey through a thousand years of history in the American West.

July 2011
Loretta's Barbed Wire Band
8:30 pm Friday, July 15
Sounds of classic country and Norteño ballads along with contemporary country songs will fill the moonlit night when Loretta's Barbed Wire Band takes the stage in July. Hailing from El Paso, Texas, this band will take listeners on a country music journey that captures the essence of the borderland.

August 2011
Vignettes of White Sands
8:00 pm Sunday, August 14
Join the park rangers of White Sands for a behind-the-scenes tour of the monument. Rangers will share stories of lizard chases, backcountry rescues, visitor interactions, and new discoveries in the Galapagos of North America. Enjoy four 15-minute vignettes and learn about the monument from an insider's perspective.

September 2011
Connie Dover & Skip Gorman
7:30 pm Tuesday, September 13
Cowboy singer/musician Skip Gorman and Celtic singer and poet Connie Dover will bring together their down-deep heartfelt interpretations of the traditional music of the American West, Ireland, and Scotland under the brilliant light of the full moon.

October 2011
The Roots of Cowboy Culture
7:00 pm Wednesday, October 12
Join Rudy Avila and Alex Mares with Furs-N-Spurs Farm & Fun around a campfire for a walk through time that discusses the origins of cowboy culture. With coffee brewing and biscuits cooking in traditional Dutch ovens, Rudy and Alex will provide an overview of Native American pre-history and their contributions to modern Cowboy Culture. A chronology and description of the Spanish Entrada, with emphasis on the introduction of European plants and animals and the Arabic/Spanish/Mexican origins of terms used today by modern cowboys and vaqueros, will be shared. Afterwards, the public will be welcome to sample coffee and biscuits with the presenters.

Full Moon Bike Ride & Bicycling

2011 Full Moon Bike Ride

Renting bikes:
We do not rent bikes at the monument. If you need to rent a bike, you can do so from Outdoor Adventures in Alamogordo ( 575-434-1920) and Outdoor Adventures in Las Cruces ( 575-521-1922)

The next Full Bike Ride will take place at:

• 8 pm Friday, October 14. Registration opens September 14.

What is the Full Moon Bike Ride?

It's a leisurely bike ride with your friends and family through the monument. For these rides, the Dunes Drive is re-opened for three hours after dark for bicycles only.

A special use fee of $5.00 per person is charged for this event. For children 15 years and younger, America the Beautiful Senior pass holders, and America the Beautiful Access pass holders, a $2.50 special use fee is charged. America the Beautiful Annual pass and White Sands Annual passes are not honored for this event.

Reservations are required for these events and are accepted one month in advance of the date of the ride. Reservations will not be accepted by telephone.

The reservation form will be available for download when the registration period opens. You may submit your reservation form by downloading the full moon bike ride form and doing one of the following options to return the form:

1. Email form to placing the wording “Full Moon Bike Ride” in the subject line.

2. Fax form to 575-479-1116 .

3.Mail form to White Sands National Monument, P.O. Box 1086, Holloman AFB, NM 88330.

The number of riders is capped at 200. Individual reservations are limited to 5 per reservation request.

Because space is limited and to allow opportunities for everyone to enjoy a full moon bike ride, “no shows” will not be allowed to register for another Full Moon Bike ride; 75% of your registered party must participate in the ride or your reservation will be considered a "no show." Please call and cancel your reservation if you are unable to participate.

If you have any additional questions regarding the ride, you may call the monument at 575-679-2599 , ext. 236.

.Directions for Submitting the Form:

When you download the form, you will see three buttons in the upper right-hand corner. The following will explain what the three buttons do.

1) Email Form:
Desktop Email Clients: Use this button if you have and use an email client such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora Mail, or other desktop email clients. This button will open your email client and attach the form to an email for you. All you need to do is fill in the "To" and "Subject" fields. You must save the form (instructions below) before attempting to attach it to an email in order to preserve the information you entered into the fields. Otherwise, the form will be sent to us blank. Make sure to click on " Send Copy " if it asks you how you would like to send it. If you choose "Send Link" , we will not receive it.

Web-based Email Clients: If you use a web-based client, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail, you will also need to save the completed PDF file to your computer using the steps below. Then, sign into your email account in your browser. Compose a new email, just as you would normally, and attach the PDF form to your email using the procedures for your particular email provider.

2) Save Form:
This button will save the PDF to your computer. After you have filled it out, click the Save Form button. This will open the "Save A Copy" dialog window. Enter a file name and save it to a location that you can easily access it from.

3) Print Form:
This button will send the PDF to your default printer. If you do not wish to email it, then this way you can mail or fax the form back to us.

Alameda Park Zoo

We are the oldest zoo in the southwest United States, and the smallest zoo to be Association of Zoo & Aquarium (AZA) Accredited, a prestigious distinction which indicates that the zoo has achieved rigorous standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation and science

Alameda Park Zoo Mission Statement
The Alameda Park Zoo provides an aesthetically pleasing naturalistic environment, which promotes education in the environmental fields of study, conservation of local and global environments, recreation, and biological research. The intended concept is to instill through audio, visual, and tactical means, a unity of non-human and human relationships. Through professional cooperation and tactics, the Alameda Park Zoo will provide the public with high standards of environmental education. This educational procedure takes place in an atmosphere that promotes environmental recreation as well as education.

Alameda Park Zoo
1321 N. White Sands Boulevard, Alamogordo
(northwest corner of Hwy 54/70 and 10th Street)
(575) 439-4290
Oldest Zoo in the Southwest
estabilshed 1898

Open Daily
9 am - 5 pm
except Christmas and New Year's Day

2 years old and under: FREE
3 years to 11 years old: $1.50
12 years to 59 years old: $2.50
60 years and older: $1.50

Yearly memberships available through the Alamogordo Friends of the Zoo.
Please call 439-4290 for more information.

The Alameda Park Zoo has more than 12 acres and over 250 exotic and indigenous animals. An education center, gift shop, restroom facilities, picnic area, and playground are all available inside the zoo grounds.

The zoo is available for after-hour private rentals (seasonal) such as company picnics, birthday parties, and reunions. Please call 439-4142 to reserve the zoo or for more information. The cost is $65/ hour.

If your class, group, or organization is interested in a personal tour of the zoo, this service is available at no extra charge other than regular admission. Diet and habitat information, and special insights of the animal collection are provided on the tour. To schedule a group educational tour, please call 439-4290.

Bonita Lake


Fire restrictions have been lifted. You can use charcoal and have campfires.
Fireworks are never allowed in the forest or in the campgrounds.

The Westlake campground is currently open for your camping enjoyment, the Blue Hole/Apple Orchard campground is open on the weekends as needed for camping.

NOTE: Game and Fish stocked the lake with 4,250 trout on Monday August 15th,2011 bringing the total to 37,750 since we opened in March.
(Updated August 24,2011)

For questions and information, please call Bonito Lake at

Lake Lucero

A Ranger guided trip to White Sand's National Monument's Lake Lucero, the source of the white sands, is scheduled on a monthly basis. Reservations are required and may be obtained by calling the monuments headquarters at 575-679-2599 or 575-479-6124

Participants will drive their own vehicles 17 miles over paved roads and the hike 3/4 miles to the lake. You should bring water and snacks, sunglasses and sunscreen. Stout walking shoes and suitable dress for the weather.

Oliver Lee Memorial Park

At the foot of the Sacramento Mountains southeast of Alamogordo, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park commemorates a 19th century rancher and legislator (Oliver Milton Lee; 1865-1941), who was an influential figure in the development of this arid, sandy region; the mountain tops may be cool and moist but most of the surroundings are desert land, part of the vast Tularosa Valley that includes White Sands National Monument , 15 miles west. Lee's ranch house is preserved, and nearby is a small museum about local history but for most people it is the scenery that provides a reason to visit, as the state park also has a particularly nice campsite, set amongst cacti with great views westwards across the valley, and also because the trailhead for the 5.5 mile Dog Canyon National Recreation Trail is located nearby. From the valley floor at 4,400 feet this well established path climbs steeply along a limestone ravine and up the cliffs beyond to a 7,540 foot summit, giving even better views of the landscape, and passing a great variety of Chihuahuan Desert plants en route. For those not making the full trip to the end (a point also reachable by forest roads), two worthwhile targets are a promontory after 0.6 miles and a sheltered cactus basin at the head of the ravine after 2.5 miles. Only the first 0.3 miles of the trail are in the state park; the remainder is through the adjacent Lincoln National Forest , though all hikers must pay the entrance fee of $5 (2011) to access the trailhead.

Main attractions: Historic ranch, a cactus garden and a popular campground, at the edge of a wide valley next to the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains. Park also contains the start point for the Dog Canyon Trail, which climbs a cactus-filled ravine high into the mountains
Nearest city with hotels: Alamogordo , 12 miles
Management: New Mexico State Parks
Location: 32.747982, -105.914515
Seasons: All year. Hot in summer

Holloman Air Force Base

Welcome to the official World Wide Web site of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. This site is provided as a public service through the cooperative efforts of the 49th Wing Public Affairs Office and Air Combat Command Public Affairs.

The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win air, space and cyberspace.

To achieve that mission, the Air Force has a vision:

The United States Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air, space, and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance, Reach and Power for the nation.

The Air Force has three core competencies: Developing Airmen, Technology-to-Warfighting and Integrating Operations. These core competencies make our six distinctive capabilities possible:

Air and Space Superiority : With it, joint forces can dominate enemy operations in all dimensions -- land, sea, air and space.

Global Attack: Because of technological advances, the Air Force can attack anywhere, anytime -- and do so quickly and with greater precision than ever before.

Rapid Global Mobility: Being able to respond quickly and decisively anywhere we're needed is key to maintaining rapid global mobility.

Precision Engagement: The essence lies in the ability to apply selective force against specific targets because the nature and variety of future contingencies demand both precise and reliable use of military power with minimal risk and collateral damage.

Information Superiority: The ability of joint force commanders to keep pace with information and incorporate it into a campaign plan is crucial.

Agile Combat Support: Deployment and sustainment are keys to successful operations and cannot be separated. Agile combat support applies to all forces, from those permanently based to contingency buildups to expeditionary forces.

The Air Force bases these core competencies and distinctive capabilities on a shared commitment to three core values -- integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do .