White Sands Missile Range will open Trinity Site to the public for the second of two annual open houses, Oct. 5. Trinity Site is where the world’s first atomic bomb was tested at 5:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time July 16, 1945.
The open house is free, and no reservations are required. At the site visitors can take a quarter-mile walk to ground zero where a small obelisk marks the exact spot where the bomb was detonated. Historical photos are mounted on the fence surrounding the area.
While at the site, visitors can also ride a missile range shuttle bus two miles from ground zero to the Schmidt/McDonald Ranch House. The ranch house is where the scientists assembled the plutonium core of the bomb. Visitors will also be able to experience what life was like for a ranch family in the early 1940s.
There are two ways to get to Trinity Site, one is to enter White Sands Missile Range through its Stallion Range Center gate. Stallion gate is five miles south of U.S. Highway 380. The turnoff is 12 miles east of San Antonio, New Mexico, and 53 miles west of Carrizozo, New Mexico. The Stallion Gate is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors arriving at the gate between those hours 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 is to drive with an escorted caravan which leaves at 8 a.m. from the Tularosa High School athletics field parking lot in Tularosa. Those who choose to caravan in can either join the caravan to return to Tularosa or exit at the Stallion Gate on their own time.
The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo offers a guided bus tour (which travels with the caravan) out to the site which includes brown bag lunch and a tour of the museum as well. For more information about the tour call 575-437-2849.