Trinity Site Open House | Road Trips From Ruidoso | New Mexico Historical Sites |
trinity site monument in the desert

It’s a well-known fact that the Atomic Age began right here in New Mexico. At 5:29 a.m. MST, on July 16, 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb was tested at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in the Tularosa Basin. Now registered as a site of historical significance, the Trinity Site Open House takes place only twice a year, in April and October. Plan your visit to this important modern marvel, on April 2 and October 15, 2022, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The open house is free, and no reservations are required. Entrance is two-fold. The Alamogordo Caravan, which meets at Tularosa High School Athletic Field Parking Lot, is an escorted group that sets out at 8 a.m., but is only open to the first 125 vehicles, for safety purposes. All other visitors must enter through the Stallion Gate, off U.S. Highway 380. Both routes are approximately the same distance and take the same amount of time.

Once inside, visitors take a short hike one quarter mile to ground zero, where a small obelisk marks the exact spot where the bomb was detonated. Historical photos are mounted on the fencing surrounding the area. Some of the greatest scientific minds of the time worked on the bomb, led by Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is credited with being the father of the Atomic Age. Walking in their footsteps can be both thrilling and sobering, depending on your understanding of the magnitude of the event.

Though traditionally held on the first Saturday of April and October, new dates have been scheduled for the Trinity Site Open Houses, beginning in 2022. According to WSMR’s Chief of Public Affairs Scott Stearns, “These changes have been made to allow more time to plan the event in coordination with the beginning of the fiscal year.”

It is recommended patrons bring comfortable clothes and shoes to walk in, as well as bringing protective clothes, sunscreen, and other items to stay safe from the New Mexico heat.

For more information on the Trinity Site Open House, visit the website.

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