Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was tested, will once again be open to the public twice a year, with the next Trinity Site Open House scheduled April 4.
Due to fiscal constraints within the Department of Defense, WSMR had reduced the Trinity Site Open House from twice to once a year. The site will now be open twice a year: April 4 and Oct. 3.
“As stewards of this significant historical site we want to ensure the public continues to have access to Trinity Site so that we can continue to share this story with future generations,” said Erin Dorrance, White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Officer.
WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin facilitated the recommendation to re-open the event twice a year.
“Trinity Site is a national historic testing landmark where the theories and engineering of some of the nation’s brightest minds were tested with the detonation of the first nuclear bomb, technologies which then helped end World War II,” said WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin. “It is important for us to share Trinity with the public even though the site is located inside a very active military test range. We have travelers from as far away as Australia who travel to visit this historic landmark. Facilitating access twice per year allows more people the chance to visit this historic site.”
Trinity Site is where the world’s first atomic bomb was tested at 5:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time on July 16, 1945. It sits within the confines of White Sands Missile Range, an Army installation whose primary mission is testing of weapons for the Department of Defense.
The open house is free. At the site, visitors can take a quarter-mile walk to ground zero where a small obelisk marks the exact spot where the bomb exploded. Historical photos are mounted on the fence surrounding the area.
Once at the site, visitors also can ride a missile range shuttle bus two miles to the Schmidt/McDonald ranch house. The ranch house is where the scientists assembled the plutonium core of the bomb.
The simplest way to get to Trinity Site is to enter White Sands Missile Range through its Stallion Range Center gate April 4. Stallion gate is five miles south of U.S. Highway 380. The turnoff is 12 miles east of San Antonio, N.M., and 53 miles west of Carrizozo, N.M. The Stallion gate is open during each open house from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors arriving at the gate between those hours will receive handouts and will be allowed to drive unescorted the 17 miles to Trinity Site. The road is paved and marked. The site closes promptly at 3:30 p.m.
The other way of attending the open house is to drive with the Alamogordo caravan. The caravan forms at the Tularosa High School football field parking lot and leaves at 8 a.m. It is a 75-mile drive to the site from Tularosa and there are no gasoline service stations on the route or at the site. The caravan is led by military police upon entry of the Missile Range. It is scheduled to leave for the return trip between 12:30 and 1 p.m.
All adults must show a photo ID. All vehicles are subject to search and should be carrying proof of insurance and current registration papers. Weapons are not allowed.
There are no ceremonies or speakers at the site. Food and souvenirs are sold at the site. For more information, call the White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office at 575-678-1134. Details on the Trinity Site Open House are on the WSMR website at www.wsmr.army.mil.