The hike started at the visitor's center and the trail was a wide gravel path for most of the way. The round trip, in and out hike is about 3 miles. All up hill to the ruins and back down. Of course there is an area with water coming out of the rock making it a Dripping Spring.
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Ruins of Van Patten Resort
The weather was perfect and we had a great time with some history thrown in. I got my passport book stamped and a sticker to put in it. Well we had an interesting event also happen at the park when we returned from sightseeing the area. A woman and her family were coming into the park and took the turn after the gate a little too fast. She lost control on the gravel road and the vehicle flipped onto its side. We happened to come shortly after it happened and called 911. The sheriffs department came along with the Paramedics. Actually no one was injured, miraculously. There were 5 children in the vehicle and all got our safely.
Glenda helped to keep everyone calm before the sheriff arrived and got some water for everyone.
I don't know if she was ticketed but we do know they were able to get a tow truck to get the vehicle back upright and she drove the vehicle back to El Paso. Very slowly with someone following behind.
They were all very fortunate.
We also made a trip to see the White Sands National Monument about 45 miles NW of us. This is an incredible area. As you drive to White Sands all you see is typical desert landscape then suddenly you come around a small foothill and then the white sands begin to appear.
They have a wonderful visitors center where I got my passport book stamped and a sticker.
White sand coming into view
Kids can buy plastic discs and slide down the dunes.
They give nature talks here
Amazing white sand
Look what I found a White Sands
Looks like this cactus slid down the dune
We didn't know very much about the area so we didn't really come prepared to walk around much. The sun on the sand really made it feel warm and it was difficult to walk in the sand without proper footwear. We did walk about 1/2 mile on the Alkali Flat Trail. It's a 5mile trail over the dunes. Rated at challenging due to the difficulty of walking in soft sand and the distance. We found out why in just that short distance.
Families were all over the dunes sliding down. Sitting with umbrellas reading, picnicking and enjoying the landscape. It certainly was worth the drive that day. IF you would like more information on White Sands, you can find it HERE. Go to this link to read about the geology of the White Sands. It is fascinating.
We did pretty much everything we set out to do in Las Cruces. We could have gone to the missile range but passed it up for the more adventurous activities outdoors.
We left Las Cruces and made our way to West TX and stopped at Balmorhea SP. Very interesting area with a series of natural springs. More about that next post. Starting to get caught up on our travels. I'll keep working on it. Things are getting even more interesting. Hope you'll follow along.