BLM Prepares for Visitor Surge at Little Sahara Recreation Area During Easter Weekend

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Photo Courtesy of the BLM

BLM News Release

FILLMORE, Utah –With approximately 20,000 visitors expected at Little Sahara Recreation Area during Easter Weekend, the BLM will welcome the public through enhanced safety measures and a new visitor center. To ensure the safety of visitors and to protect the unique desert environment, the BLM is implementing several measures to manage visitor surge by increasing staffing and law enforcement patrols, as well as technologies to better serve the public.

“Little Sahara Recreation Area is an incredible resource for outdoor enthusiasts, and we want to ensure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience,” said BLM West Desert District Manager Michael Gates. “We encourage visitors to follow all rules and regulations, to respect the environment and practice safe off-road vehicle use, and we thank our partners for prioritizing visitor safety through their continued public service.”

Due to a large influx of visitors, the BLM, Juab County Sherriff’s Office, Juab County Emergency Medical Services, Juab Search and Rescue, Utah Highway Patrol, and Utah State Parks staff will be onsite.

This season, visitors can stop in at the newly constructed Little Sahara Visitor Center to purchase their passes or use one of two Remote Off-Grid Kiosk (ROK) machines for purchasing permits with a credit card.

“We are excited to offer the ROK machines to our visitors to help expedite their entrance into the park and enjoy America’s public lands faster,” said BLM Fillmore Field Manager Cindy Ledbetter. “Traffic lanes will be designated at the visitor center parking area for those who pre-purchased passes on Recreation.gov, those paying with cash at the fee booth, and those wishing to try the new kiosks.”

Passes can be purchased on Recreation.gov at Little Sahara Ohv Area Pass in Utah – Recreation.gov , through the Recreation.gov app, or by calling the national reservation hotline at 1-877-444-6777. Passes should be printed and displayed on the vehicle dashboard. Visitors who purchase annual passes on Recreation.gov must present the QR Code at the visitor center or BLM Fillmore Field Office to get a vehicle sticker. The QR Code can also be printed and placed in the vehicle dashboard and is valid until a sticker is obtained. Vehicles displaying the current annual pass or pre-purchased one-night permit fee passes will be directed past the fee booth and into the recreation area.

Visitors are encouraged to keep the following information in mind as well:

  • The visitor center will extend its operating hours through the holiday weekend.
  • The one-night permit fee is $18 per vehicle. This fee includes use of the area for two days and one night. Discounts are available for persons with disabilities and seniors. Active-duty Military visitors should provide documentation to staff at the visitor center for free access.
  • The annual pass is $120 and can be purchased online or in-person at the visitor center or at the BLM Fillmore Field Office.
  • Guest Wi-Fi, called LittleSaharaGuest, is available in the visitor center parking lot for purchasing passes online.
  • The recreation area provides four campgrounds for a total of 255 improved campsites with access to potable water, flush (weather permitting) and vault toilets, as well as one RV dump station. Dispersed camping is available outside of the campgrounds.
  • Due to migrating sand, camping in the old White Sands Campground is at your own risk. No water will be available until later in the year.
  • All visitors to Sand Mountain are required to park 20 feet away from paved roads.
  • Large bonfires and wooden pallets are not permitted at Little Sahara Recreation Area.
  • Safety flags are required for all off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs). Flags will be available for sale at the visitor center and on vendor’s row.
  • Children under 8 years of age are not allowed to operate any OHV/UTV on public lands, roads, or trails in Utah. Children ages 8 – 15 may operate an OHV/UTV if they possess an education certificate issued by Utah State Parks or the equivalent certification from their home state.
  • Individuals 16 years or older may operate an OHV/UTV if they possess either a valid driver’s license or an approved OHV education certificate.
  • As of Jan. 1, 2023, H.B. 180 Off-road Vehicle Safety Education Bill requires any individual operating an off-highway vehicle to complete an online education course.
  • Building tunnels and deep pits in the sand is dangerous and prohibited.

Little Sahara Recreation Area is located in Juab County and includes 60,000 acres of BLM-managed public land encompassing sagebrush flats, juniper-covered hills and free-moving sand dunes. The area provides premier OHV recreation opportunities and is known as “Utah’s Largest Sandbox.” Learn more at: Little Sahara Recreation Area | Bureau of Land Management (blm.gov).

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