Hike-in Required
Open Year-round
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Playa Trail is a 0.5-mile out-and-back trail located in New Mexico’s White Sands National Park. Unlike most national parks, dogs are allowed on this trail when kept on a leash that is six feet long or shorter. Parking for this hike is located 2.5 miles from the Visitor Center.

To follow the Playa Trail, look for the green trail markers which have the heart symbol on them. This trail is quite easy and very flat. The trail has interpretive signs with information about this unique landscape. The trail takes you to viewpoints of the playa, a shallow depression that fills with rainwater after heavy storms. The playa is a dry lakebed for most of the year. In addition to the playa, this trail provides views of the Sacramento and Sierra Blanca Mountains.

Keep safety in mind when hiking this trail. Temperatures during the summer can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. During high temperatures hiking is not recommended. Bring plenty of water with you. Note there is no water available at the trailhead, so fill up at the Visitor Center. Protect your skin from the sun with appropriate clothes and sunscreen, and protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Playa views. Mountain views.


No water available at trailhead.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


Family friendly
Geologically significant


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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