Trinity Site ground zero at White Sands Missile Range.
John Larson | El Defensor Chieftain


White Sands Missile Range will open Trinity Site to the public on Oct. 2 after being canceled the last three times due to COVID-19. 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 April and October open houses at the site have steadily grown over the past 12 years and a turnout of over 5,000 participants is not unusual. Although no record is kept of where attendees come from, license plates in the sprawling parking lot accounted for dozens of states.

That’s not to mention the countless visitors from different counties, curious about the Manhattan Project and seeing the birth of the nuclear era.

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.

The simplest way to get to Trinity Site is to enter White Sands Missile Range through its Stallion Range Center gate.  Stallion gate is five miles south of Highway 380. The turnoff is 12 miles east of San Antonio.

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.

For more information on the open house please visit the Trinity Site website at: