Utah: Little Sahara Recreational Area

Jericho Junction, Utah

Does 60,000 acres of sand, an almost 700-foot-high dune and four campgrounds sound like a place you'd like to visit?

Look no further than the Little Sahara dunes about 100 miles south of Salt Lake City.

You may have heard of a 700-foot-high dune somewhere in Utah. Well, this is where to find it. Actually, the federal Bureau of Land Management says it's 671 feet, but either way it's still a long climb and one to be respected.

On the back side of the main dune, known as Sand Mountain, is an area that is about 6 square miles of great dunes to enjoy. Another area, to the northwest of the mountain, is called the White Sands Dunes, which is about 8 miles long and more than 2 miles wide in some places.

If you're bringing the whole family, I'd suggest staying at one of the three campgrounds that are part of the White Sand Dunes: White Sands, which is at the far northern tip of the dunes; and Oasis and Jericho, which are halfway to the main dune.

All three of these campgrounds have bathrooms and fresh water, but no electricity. They also have quiet times from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Oasis and White Sands have lots of trees in the camp sites, and Oasis has paved roads.

You can also camp at the base of Sand Mountain. There are bathrooms there as well, but it's primitive-style camping and it's not as kid-friendly, and it's much noisier than the other three campgrounds.

Camping fees are $10 per vehicle each night. Easter is the busiest weekend, with some saying there are as many as 50,000 people who show up. From the stories I heard from the locals, I would hesitate to visit then. Other holiday weekends may see as many as 15,000 people.

If you're into geology, you might find this part of Utah very interesting because there are four extinct volcanoes in the area.

For more information, call the visitor center at (435) 433-5960 or visit the Bureau of Land Management website. Ask them to send you a couple of brochures, because they have some of the best printed information I've seen at a BLM office.