Little Sahara State Park, Waynoka

4.0
#20 of 23 in Nature in Oklahoma
Little Sahara State Park is a state park located in Oklahoma, named for its resemblance to the Sahara Desert.The vast dunes have formed over time from terrace deposits, remnants of prehistoric times when the Cimarron River flowed over the entire area.Little Sahara was founded in the early 1950's as a city park by Grace Ward Smith, head of Alva's Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, the dunes were primarily seen as a nuisance, encroaching on Highway 281, requiring the road to be re-routed. Smith named the park to lure visitors, hired locals to guide and act as outlaws, and in 1958 purchased a pair of camels. In September 1960, the state of Oklahoma purchased the 339 acre parcel for $12,500. Later that year, 4,000 visitors viewed a Christmas pageant starring the camels. By 1963, the park had expanded to 1,600 acres. That spring, a local auto dealer rode the dunes in a "makeshift steampunk vehicle with wide rims and balloon tires, topped by hay-rake wheels serving as roll bars." This activity quickly gained popularity and local businesses continue to offer rentals.Little Sahara State Park is located in northwest Oklahoma, south of Waynoka. The park offers over 1600acre of rideable sand dunes ranging in height from 25ft to 75ft. Amenities include showers, picnic areas, 86 RV hookups with electric/water and 143 tent sites. Seasonal concessions provide refreshment, and fuel and grocery are located nearby. In 2015, 128,397 riders paid $10 each to enjoy the dunes.
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Little Sahara State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • I've been to the park over a dozen times with different groups each time. There is always fun to be had by all. They parts store on site has helpful and nice staff. Wish the local authorities would ea...  more »
  • We were just passing through Waynoka and decided to stop to check out Little Sahara State Park. We did not bring an ATV with us, but we enjoyed the short hike up to the lookout. This is a good place t...  more »
  • One would never dream that Oklahoma has giant sand dunes. These dunes keep changing because of the wind. It is a great place for ATV riding. The observation tower is the best place to view the dunes u...  more »

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15 days in Waynoka BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Watonga BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Waynoka BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 44 days in Oklahoma BY A USER FROM INDIA January, outdoors, romantic, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Oklahoma BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Woodward BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 58 days in Oklahoma BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Jet BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Woodward BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Woodward BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Freedom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in Oklahoma BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced
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