Photo Trinity Site Memorial White Sands Missile Range New Mexico

Trinity Site

We have been to a few places more remote, but none harder to get to than this. Trinity Site, New Mexico is hard to get to. Yesterday, we drove through 50 miles of unoccupied sagebrush, save for a few cows, then even the sage gave out to 20 miles of alkaline grass.

The location was only twenty miles from our campsite but we had to go to the only open gate, which is only open for about twelve hours each year. Armed guards at every turn made sure we didn’t wander off the route. Oh yes, I almost forgot, a few dozen protesters were along the way.

At this location, 425 people on July 16, 1945, all knew that World War II was over even though the fighting persisted. Nearly everyone within a hundred miles knew something big happened at 5:29 am. Some people had seen something similar two months prior when the military set off 200,000 pounds of TNT all at once as a test to get a rough idea of what might happen. This was bigger.

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Ground Zero

This picture was taken at Trinity Site, ground zero. The location of the very first atomic explosion. The explosion completely turned a half-mile circle of desert sand into glass, all within one-tenth of one second. Pea-sized glass called trinitite can still be found in and around the area. This description is a vast simplification. Most of the dirt, eight feet deep around the explosion is gone, vaporized or scattered for miles. Now Trinity Site is the least visited “National Park/Monument” by a huge margin. The only less visited National Park is Gates of the Arctic in North Alaska

Here is a link to the google map for the area.

Link to our 2019 Route.

Link to our route El Paso to Colorado

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9 thoughts on “Trinity Site”

  1. to Don and Sharon

    October 5th will be the next one. It is always Saturday, April and October. I think it might be the first Saturday of the month but maybe that’s this year. Gate opens at 8, closes at 2. The last person must leave by 3. The site is 20 miles SW of the Stallion gate. The nearest city is Socorro.

  2. to Evan

    Not as much anymore. No one visited the site until the radiation had subsided. It took almost twenty years before clean up. Most trinitite was removed. The chunks we saw made the Geiger counter jump because it is a lot “hotter” than ordinary glass. In fact, that is how you can tell real trinitite from fake. Fake trinitite is not radioactive.

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