Last Updated on January 17, 2024

Oklahoma is a surprising sandboard-friendly destination thanks to the presence of the Waynoka dunes in the so-called Little Sahara State Park (not to be confused with the Little Sahara Recreational Area, in Utah).

These dunes are leftovers from a river that flowed there in the prehistoric area, and do indeed look straight out of the Sahara desert!

This unique location is a truly hidden gem in Oklahoma for adventure thrillers and sandsports lovers.

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Sandboarding in Oklahoma: Waynoka Dunes (Little Sahara State Park)
Waynoka Dunes, Little Sahara State Park, OK. Photo courtesy of Matt Howry.

Little Sahara State Park – Waynoka

Little Sahara State Park is open-year round and does not require any permit to enter.

It boasts over 1,600 acres of sand dunes, ranging in height from 25 feet (7.6 m) to 75 ft (23 m) and is very popular with off-road vehicles.

Sandboarding is also practiced on the larger Sand Mountain – although you may need to bring your own board.

In addition to sandboarding, Little Sahara State Park is also a great place for off-road vehicles.

The park has over 50 miles of trails that are open to ATVs, dune buggies, and dirt bikes.

There are also a few camping areas in the park that are specifically designed for off-road enthusiasts.

Two children sand play areas are available in White Sands Campground and the Jericho Picnic Area where off-road access is not allowed.

Park Information

Little Sahara State Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. However, the park’s facilities, such as the visitor center and campground, have specific hours of operation.

The visitor center is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, seven days a week. The campground is open from March 1 to November 30.

The best time to visit Little Sahara State Park depends on what activities you are interested in.

If you want to go sandboarding, the best time to visit is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and dry.

If you are interested in off-road vehicles, the best time to visit is during the spring and fall, when the weather is mild.

Here are some other things to keep in mind when planning your visit to Little Sahara State Park:

  • The park is located in a desert climate, so it can be very hot and dry during the summer months. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
  • The park is very popular, so it can get crowded during the weekends and holidays. If you want to avoid the crowds, try to visit during the week.
  • There are a variety of camping options available in the park, including RV camping, tent camping, and primitive camping.
  • There are a number of hiking trails in the park, ranging from easy to challenging.
  • The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and rabbits.

Getting There

Little Sahara State Park is located about 100 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The park is easily accessible by car, and there is a large parking area at the entrance. There is also a shuttle service that runs from the parking area to the sand dunes.

By Car

Little Sahara State Park is situated approximately 14 miles south of Waynoka, Oklahoma, and 6 miles north of the town of Cleo Springs. If you’re using a GPS or navigation system, you can enter the park’s address: 101 Main St, Waynoka, OK 73860.

From Waynoka: If you’re coming from Waynoka, head south on Highway 281 until you reach the park entrance. You’ll see signs indicating the direction to Little Sahara State Park.

From Cleo Springs: If you’re approaching from Cleo Springs, take Highway 8 north until you reach the park entrance. Look for the signs along the way.


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History of the Waynoka dunes

The Waynoka dunes are some of the largest sand dunes in the United States.

They are located in Little Sahara State Park in Woods County, Oklahoma. The dunes were formed by a river that flowed through the area millions of years ago.

The river deposited sand in the area, and the wind then sculpted the sand into the dunes that we see today.

The dunes are constantly moving, so they are always changing shape. The average wind speed in the area is about 15 miles per hour, but it can sometimes reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

The wind is what keeps the dunes moving and prevents them from becoming stable.

The Waynoka dunes were first discovered by European settlers in the 1800s. The settlers were amazed by the size and beauty of the dunes, and they soon began to use them for recreation. In the early 1900s, the dunes became a popular destination for sandboarding and off-road vehicles.

In 1959, the Oklahoma Legislature purchased the land that is now Little Sahara State Park.

The park was officially opened in 1960, and it has been a popular destination for outdoor recreation ever since.

The Waynoka dunes are a unique and beautiful natural wonder. They are a great place to go for sandboarding, off-road vehicles, or simply to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.


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