July 16 marks the 70th anniversary of the historic landmark where the first detonation of the atomic bomb took place.
Like in years past, White Sands Missile Range will host an Open House Oct. 3. Tourists can visit the area where the atomic bomb was first tested and take a bus to the Ranch House where most of the scientists worked.
The main Stallion gate will open at 8 a.m. and close at 2 p.m. The site will be open to the public at 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It takes approximately an hour to visit the “ground zero” site and the McDonald Ranch House: Where the bomb’s plutonium core was assembled.
The Open House allows for visitors to take a self-guided tour. There are no ceremonies or guided tours during the twice a year event.
Representatives from the WSMR Safety Office will have a booth at the Open House where they will explain just how much radiation is at the site and will provide additional information on radiation and how much of it is dangerous.
A large crowd is expected due to the anniversary. On average, there are usually about 3,000 visitors during an Open House.
It is important for visitors to remember that they are visiting an area that is very desolate, so it is important to plan accordingly. It is recommended that visitors fill their gas tanks before heading to the site, that they bring cash for vendors at the site, and plenty of water.
Individuals who wish to visit the site have two options to get there.
The main Stallion Gate entrance is located just 30 miles from Socorro, New Mexico.
Maps to the site from Socorro can be printed from the WSMR website.
Those who wish to stay in the nearest city of Socorro, New Mexico should look into booking their hotel stay now, as most rooms are booked for the weekend of the Open House.
Drivers can also meet a caravan that will depart from Alamogordo, New Mexico at 8 a.m. The bus will meet drivers at Tularosa High School. The High School parking lot will open up at 7 a.m.
The caravan will return to Alamogordo from Trinity Site at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Visitors in vehicles following the caravan should plan ahead to prepare for the 140 mile roundtrip. Among your list of items there should be a spare tire and a jack in case of emergencies.
Vehicles that traveled with the caravan, who wish to leave earlier, must exit the premises using the Stallion gate, which will lead drivers to Socorro, New Mexico, about 132 miles from Alamogordo.
The caravan is hosted by the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce and is on a first come first serve basis.
Once visitors arrive they will be given a pamphlet with detailed information about the site in order to begin their self-guided tour.
Visitors will also be given information about the installation itself.
For more information, please visit http://www.wsmr.army.mil/PAO/Trinity/Pages/default.aspx