From sagebrush flats to juniper-covered hills to a 700-foot-tall sand dune, the Little Sahara Recreation Area in Utah offers a variety of riding conditions for all skill levels.
Located about 100 miles south of Salt Lake City, the federal Bureau of Land Management’s Little Sahara Recreation Area features Sand Mountain, which is the 700-foot-high challenging dune. On the back side of the dune is an area of about 6 square miles of dunes to ride. To the northwest of the mountain are the White Sands Dunes, which are abut 8 miles long and at some places 2 miles wide.
The recreation area in total encompasses some 60,000 acres. The BLM says that most of the sand at Little Sahara is the result of deposits left by the Sevier River that flowed into ancient Lake Bonneville 15,000 years ago.
“After the lake receded, the southwesterly winds that flow across the Sevier Desert picked up the exposed sand,” the BLM says. “Sand Mountain, in the middle of the dune field, deflected the wind upward, causing it to slow and drop its load of sand. Sand particles, composed mostly of quartz, fell downwind among the sagebrush and juniper around Sand Mountain, ultimately creating a 124 square-mile system of giant, free-moving sand dunes.”
The BLM reports that the Little Sahara Recreation Area has 255 improved campsites with access to 40 toilets, two sources for potable water and 16 miles of paved roads. The campsites are in four campgrounds: White Sands, Oasis, Jericho and Sand Mountain. The recreation area also has a visitor’s center, fire station, and bunkhouse for wildlife personnel.
More than 20,000 visitors enjoy the recreation area on the busy weekends of Easter, Memorial Day and Labor Day. The admission fee is $18 per vehicle per night. An annual pass is $120 although seniors and people with disabilities pay just $60. Active military also get a discount.
For more information contact: Little Sahara Recreation Area, 27020 W. Sand Mountain Road, Eureka, UT 84628; Phone: (435) 433-5960; Weather and Info (435) 433-5961: blm.gov/learn/interpretive-centers/little-sahara-recreation-area.