Trinity Site: 1945-1995

A National Historic Landmark
White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico


"The effects could well be called unprecedented, magnificent, beautiful, stupendous, and terrifying. No man-made phenomenon of such tremendous power had ever occurred before. The lighting effects beggared description. The whole country was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many times that of the midday sun."

Brig. Gen. Thomas Farrell

How to Get to Trinity Site

Trinity Site, where the world's first atomic bomb was exploded in 1945, is normally open to the public twice a year--on the first Saturday in April and October.

Trinity is located on the northern end of the 3,200-square-mile White Sands Missile Range, N.M., between the towns of Carrizozo and Socorro, N.M. There are two ways of entering the restricted missile range on tour days.

Visitors can enter through the range's Stallion Range Center which is five miles south of Highway 380. The turnoff is 12 miles east of San Antonio, N.M. , and 53 miles west of Carrizozo, N.M. The Stallion gate will be open 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 other way of entering the missile range is by travelling with a caravan sponsored by the Alamogordo (N.M.) Chamber of Commerce. The caravan forms at the Otero County Fairgrounds in Alamogordo and leaves at 8 a.m. Visitors entering this way will travel as an escorted group with military police to and from Trinity Site. The drive is 170 miles round trip. There are no service station facilities on the missile range. The caravan is scheduled to leave Trinity Site at 12:30 p.m. for the return to Alamogordo. The caravan may leave later if there is a large number of vehicles in the returning caravan.

In 1995, an additional open house will be conducted on July 16, the 50th anniversary of the Trinity test. Visitors may enter the missile range through the Stallion Range Center gate from 5 to 11 a.m. There will be no caravan leaving from Alamogordo, N.M., for this event. The early hours will allow visitors to be on-site at 5:29:45 a.m., the time the Trinity Site detonation occurred, and should help visitors avoid the 100-plus degree afternoon temperatures common here in July.

Included on the Trinity Site tour is Ground Zero where the atomic bomb was placed on a 100-foot steel tower and exploded on July 16, 1945. A small monument now marks the spot. Visitors also see the McDonald ranch house where the world's first plutonium core for a bomb was assembled. The missile range provides historical photographs and a Fat Man bomb casing for display. There are no ceremonies or speakers.

Portable toilet facilities are available on site. Hot dogs and sodas are sold at the parking lot. Cameras are allowed at Trinity Site, but their use is strictly prohibited anywhere else on White Sands Missile Range.

For more information, contact the White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office at (505) 678-1134/1700.

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