Consisting of giant sand dunes and attractive tourist amenities, Little Sahara State Park is the best place to go if you want to have fun in the sand. With over 1,600 acres of land, the park is located south of Waynoka. It is great for outdoor recreation with endless opportunities for adventures in the vast sand desert of the area.
For lovers of ATV touring and sand drag racing, the park is the perfect place to visit with over 1,400 acres of sand to ride on. The park has rideable dunes as high as 75 feet to as low as 25 feet. History has it that the dunes were made from deposits of terrace and sorted quartz residue from the Cimarron River as it flowed through the land during the Pleistocene Age over 11,000 years ago. The result of this is an amazing scenery of well-positioned sand dunes which are known to change location regularly due to the ripple effect the wind has on the sand. This feature, among many others, makes the area attractive to visiting tourists.
However, in cases of people who cannot ride these dunes, you can hike up to the observation point to get a view of the beautiful scenery. The campground is well suited to meet the needs of campers who would like to stay a bit longer. Little Sahara State Park is a great RV venue to visit at all times of the year with its peak season in the earlier part of the year. The park is sometimes closed during the winter season due to the damage caused to the sand by rough weather.
Little Sahara State Park can be accessed easily by an RV or car. It is located four miles south of Waynoka, Oklahoma, in the northwestern part of the state. Just off of US-281, you can get to the park from US-412 from east or west, US-64 from the north, and US-60 from the south. About two hours northwest of Oklahoma City, the park is relatively remote, but regardless of the park's location, you will have no trouble getting to your destination no matter what you are driving. Once you are at the park, be aware that sand vehicles operate within the grounds, so drivers should be extra cautious of slower-moving vehicles and adhere to the 15 MPH posted speed limit.
At the northern end of the park, you can find the Buttercup Campground, which boasts 20 spacious campsites with utility hookups. Campsites 601 to 609 have water and 30-amp electric hookups with a pad length of 45 feet. Sites 610 to 616 have water and 30- to 50- amp electric hookups with 80-foot pads. Sites 617 to 620 all have water and 30- to 50-amp electric with pads that range from 50 to 60 feet. There are also 12 tent-only campsites here. You can (and should) reserve your spot online well ahead of time. After a long day of four-wheeling or ATVing, you can cook up dinner on the complimentary grill and picnic table available at each site. Pets are welcome as long as they are properly restrained and supervised at all times while you are visiting. There is a modern restroom with running water and a shower house by the parking lot as well as a trail that takes you around the whole campground.
The Cowboy Campground has 20 campsites with utility hookups. The campground is located at the northern end of Little Sahara. All of these sites have water and 30- to 50-amp electric hookups and 90-foot pads. There are also more than 50 tent-only campsites around the outside of the campground. A modern restroom with running water and a shower house is located in the middle of the campground for your convenience. Pets are welcome here, but you must keep your furbaby on a leash or otherwise restrained while you are visiting. You’ll also find a picnic table and barbeque grill at your campsite. Don’t forget the sunscreen and the awning for the RV, though, because there is no shade at any of these campsites. Reservations are important, so book early.
The largest campground, Golden Sands, has 47 large campsites with utility hookups. This campground is located at the southern end of the park. Campsites 501 to 506 have 45-foot pads, 507 to 521 have 60-foot pads, 522 to 526 have 35-foot pads, 527 to 537 have 55-foot pads. All of these have water and 30- to 50-amp electric hookups. Sites 540 to 549 have 30-amp electric, water, and 45 to 55-foot pads. There are also 72 tent-only campsites here. Reserve your spot early because this is a popular place.
The campground has shower houses with hot water and modern restrooms with flush toilets. Each of the sites has a picnic table and BBQ pit, as well as plenty of room to spread out and relax around the fire. You won’t find any shade here, though, so make sure you have your awning ready and bring some sunscreen. Pets are welcome but must be supervised and leashed at all times. An RV sanitation dump is also available off US-281 right by the campground.
If you want to get away from a hectic life, coming to the park during the off-season is an excellent way to unwind. There are a limited number of people in the park at this time of year, so the park is typically tranquil and relaxing. The peace of the park after most visitors have gone home is quite distinctive and provides an excellent way to decompress. Especially for those who spend a lot of time working.
In instances where you do not have an ATV for riding, it is a great idea to have a short hike on the sand. Hiking to the observation center is a great idea to have a little fun and stretch your legs. Admittedly, sand is not the easiest surface to walk on, and if you suffer from joint problems, this may not be the best idea for you. But for the rest of us, the shifting sand provides a great workout and a unique hiking experience.
There is an observation center from which you can get a great view of ATV riders running on the sand dunes. Binoculars are recommended if you want a close-up view. Watching the riders race their ATVs over the seemingly endless sand dunes is an experience not to be missed, especially if you’re lucky enough to catch the spectacle at sundown. Make sure you pack your camera in the RV for some amazing photos to share on social media.
As one of the best ATV riding spots in the Midwest, Little Sahara State Park is a great place to bring your ATV and head out for a day full of adventure. The dunes are continually changing because of the ripple effect the wind has on the sand, and riding through the sand will give you a great view of the vast and beautiful, rippled landscape. Whether you are riding a three-wheeler, four-wheeler, dune buggy, quadricycle, dirt bike, or a side-by-side, be sure to wear your safety gear.
Little Sahara State Park is a great place to get to see or even participate in sand dragging competitions. The annual Midwest Sandfest at Little Sahara State Park is a must-attend for such an event. Various sand drag racers converge and participate in the race at the Golden Sand of Waynoka. This event occurs around mid-September every year and includes ATVs such as side-by-sides, four-wheelers, and dune buggies. If you are going to participate, make sure you pack your safety gear in the rig before heading out.
This event is the biggest weekend event in the park, occurring in the late spring. Campers stream in from far and near having made reservations from as far back as months ago. Visitors are entertained by views of skilled snake handlers capturing numbers of rattlesnakes in the area. This event closes with a ceremony to award the hunter with the longest snake. Concessions to provide refreshments and groceries are always located nearby during this period.