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Little Sahara State Park, Waynoka

(4.1/5 based on 40+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Miles and miles of riding. Beautiful view of real dunes in the middle of nowhere. Trails and open riding!!  more »
  • We have been going for years. Riding is always a good time but campground facility's and some of the park rangers leave more than a little bit to be desired!!! Bathroom's are always filthy, definitely...  more »
  • Went for my kids birthdays, older teens and 21year old. They all had a blast. We rented ATV's from Stewarts ATV and buggy (literally just down the road) normally $150.00 for half a day but they gave u...  more »